Inspiring solo theatre work addresses sensitive issue of dementia

PLYMOUTH  — Alumnus, professional actor and creator Robin Marcotte remains loyal to Plymouth State University long after his 2000 graduation. This year, as the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance at PSU recognizes the 30th year of theatre as a major at the university, Marcotte will present a full-length solo piece, DOTTIE, he first created in 2005 while executive director and co-artistic director of Hotel Obligado in Philadelphia.

The 2015 production is a completely reworked and expanded re-envisioning of the original play that reveals Marcotte's grandmother Dottie (who would have been 90 this year), her best friend Dutchie, and a third entity, a boy as a metaphorical element, each portrayed by Marcotte. The script incorporates Marcotte's experiences of his grandmother's decline, and clips from 8 mm family films that become effectively documentary.

Performances of DOTTIE are February 12 and 13 at 8 p.m. and February 14 at 2 and 8 p.m. in the Studio Theatre at the Silver Center. Following the Friday performance, Dr. Robert Kelly will present a "talk back" discussion on the topic of dementia.

Though the play has some dark moments as it tells the story of the bright and vivacious woman's slow slide into dementia, Director Elizabeth Daily says DOTTIE is about love and hope as it explores how people suffering from dementia perceive the world. "Even if we don't always recognize our loved one (or vice versa), the person is still there—there is beauty and truth within," she says. "I think audiences will find an opportunity to experience a joyous and sweet life in this this hour-long production that reflects the journey of a remarkable woman and her memories."

DOTTIE is a work of physical theatre, a nontraditional art form not often seen in New Hampshire. Physical theatre is movement-based, not text-based, and includes many experiential elements. Marcotte uses mask performance, aerial work, shadow dancing and monologue to take the audience into the layered realities of the title character's mind...a mind overwhelmed by dementia. "There is a beauty to physical theatre," Marcotte says. "Physical theatre communicates with the heart before the mind—viewers may begin to cry before they process the information and not know why. Traditional theatre dependent on dialogue communicates the opposite way—from the brain to the heart. For audiences, this should be an experience, not a commentary, depicting the shared experiences of caregivers and of dementia."

Daily was one of Marcotte's teachers during his undergraduate years at PSU and they have co-directed two plays since Marcotte joined the department as a teaching lecturer in 2012. The two work exceptionally well together. Daily says, "Robin's openness of heart and mind will fill the performance. We are allowed to experience Dottie from her relationships, her mind and her heart. Since this work is very personal, it also becomes a gift to those of us sharing Dottie's story."

Marcotte studied at the Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre after graduating from PSU, and earned an MFA in interdisciplinary arts from Goddard College with a focus on theatre creation, theatrical social engagement and theatre pedagogy.

Tim Gray, resident composer and sound designer for the Dell'Arte Company, composed original music for DOTTIE.

Also joining the production staff are PSU alumnus and teaching lecturer Fran Page, PSU costume shop manager and teaching lecturer Danee Grillo, and alumna Heather Manfredi as set coordinator. Philadelphia artist Aaron Cromie designed and built the masks worn by Dottie and her friend, Dutchie.

Daily says, "Fran, with exceptional technical savvy, has given us exactly what we've outlined for video and voice over components. Danee has also completed some stunning costumes that complete the characterization."

Alumna Heather Manfredi is the set coordinator and PSU student Jaime Mancuso, a senior theatre arts major from South Windsor, Conn., serves as student lighting designer.

Tickets for DOTTIE are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and youth at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-2787 or (800) 779-3869. Tickets are also available online at

DOTTIE is made possible in part by a grant from the Smart Family Foundation.

Teen Believers 4-H Club to meet on February 11

LACONIA —  There will be a Teen Believers 4-H Club on Wednesday, February 11 at 6 pm in the Belknap County 4-H Office, 635 Main Street, 3rd Floor.

As the Teen Believers 4-H Club welcomes the new year, they also welcome their newly installed officers at their first meeting in 2015. One of the new electives includes Natashia Guzman, as President, in her first year of office. Also recognized is Iain Patterson, Vice-President, Micheal Marrone, Secretary, and Megan Fife, as Treasurer.

Those interested in 4-H and are between 13-18 years old are welcome to attend the meeting. The major project this year is about bees and beekeeping. For more information, contact the Belknap County 4-H Office at (603) 527-5475.

Waterville Valley now has ‘Fat Bikes’ for rent

WATERVILLE VALLEY — The latest in a series of expanding off-mountain activities at Waterville Valley Resort is the addition of fat bikes available to rent from the Nordic Center. Fat bikes are mountain bikes with oversized tires designed to float in soft and challenging terrain, including snow. Developed in Alaska in the early 1980's, fat bikes have grown in popularity in recent years but are still rare to find at ski resorts in the White Mountains.

"One of Waterville Valley Resort's most unique features is the wide variety of activities available to guests off the slopes," says Nordic Center Director Leah Wilson. "Whether you're an alpine skier or not, the valley a great place to stay and play. Fat biking is another excellent option in addition to the cross country skiing and snowshoing available at the Nordic Center." There is 15km of "many use" trails within the Nordic system where the fat bikes will be available to ride. These are part of Waterville Valley Resort's mountain bike trail system in the summer.

The Nordic Center is stocking a small fleet of fat bikes that are now available to the general public seven days a week as conditions allow. For more information, call the Nordic Center at 603-236-4666.

Fish & Game now taking entries for moose lottery

CONCORD —  New Hampshire's 2015 moose hunt lottery is now open. Enter today to try your luck on the adventure of a lifetime -- hunting moose in the rugged woods of the Granite State. Entering the lottery costs $15 for New Hampshire residents and $25 for nonresidents.

To enter the N.H. moose hunt lottery, visit, where you can enter online or print out a mail-in application, or buy one in person from any Fish and Game license agent or at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord. Moose hunt lottery applications for 2015 must be postmarked or submitted online by midnight Eastern Time on May 29, 2015, or delivered to the Licensing office at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord before 4:00 p.m. that day. Winners will be selected through a computerized random drawing on June 19, at the NH Fish and Game Department in Concord.

Each applicant can enter the moose hunt lottery once a year. A bonus point system improves the chances for unsuccessful applicants who apply each consecutive year. For example, last year the overall odds of a resident applicant being drawn were 1 in 59, while resident applicants with a total of 11 points had a 1 in 28 chance of being drawn. For nonresidents, the odds increased from 1 in 221 overall to 1 in 106 for applicants with 11 points.

Last year (2014), more than 10,000 people entered the lottery for the chance to win one of 124 permits. More than 1,400 people continued to accrue bonus points because they submitted an application for a point only. Hunters from eight different states won permits in the lottery.

While people travel from all over the country to take part in the New Hampshire moose hunt, the majority of permits (about 85%) go to New Hampshire residents. The number of permits available to nonresidents is capped, based on the prior year's sales of nonresident hunting licenses.

The exact number of moose hunt permits that will be offered for this fall's hunt has not yet been determined. Because of the continued decline in moose numbers in some areas, permit reductions are possible in parts of the state, according to Wildlife Programs Supervisor Kent Gustafson. If needed, permit allocation proposals for 2015 will be developed through the state's formal rulemaking process.

While permit numbers may be reduced in 2015, your chance of being drawn and offered a permit in the lottery will be improved if you rank all wildlife management units on your application, Gustafson noted. You will have the option to decline a permit if drawn for a unit you prefer not to hunt.

New Hampshire's nine-day moose hunt starts the third Saturday in October. This year's hunt runs from October 17-25, 2015.

New Hampshire has had an annual moose hunt since 1988, when 75 permits were issued for a three-day hunt in the North Country. The state's current moose population is estimated at about 4,000 animals. The availability of moose hunting permits, with some issued for every area of the state, is made possible by careful management of moose populations. The resulting annual harvest of moose helps to regulate moose numbers, provides valuable information on the physical condition of moose and provides a unique recreational opportunity. Learn more about moose hunting in New Hampshire at