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Susanna Brent takes over as managing director of Winnipesaukee Playhouse

MEREDITH — After conducting a national search, The Winnipesaukee Playhouse announced Monday that Susanna Brent has assumed the role of managing director. The move to bring in an experienced manager was spurred by founders Bryan and Johanna Halperin's decision to step away from daily operations of The Winnipesaukee Playhouse at the end of 2014.

"Our entire family has lived The Winnipesaukee Playhouse for the past 10 years and while we certainly plan on remaining active in some theatrical aspects of the Playhouse; now is the right time for our family to explore additional opportunities to serve our community," said Johanna Halperin.

Brent is joining a leadership team that still includes co-Founders Neil and Lesley Pankhurst, who will remain with the Playhouse as artistic director and marketing director, respectively.
Brent is thrilled to join the Winnipesaukee Playhouse for its 11th season. Prior to arriving, she served as the director of the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, the largest and most well equipped arts center in upper Michigan. In 2006, she and her husband, Lester, founded the Good Medicine Theatre Company in Las Vegas, and were awarded Best of Las Vegas for her direction and her husband's technical direction of Douglas Carter Beane's "The Little Dog Laughed".

In addition to her work in arts management, Brent has enjoyed opportunities in hospitality and special event management at the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas and The Mill at Loon Mountain. She began her career and met her husband at the Papermill Theatre, now Jean's Playhouse, in Lincoln. The couple and their daughter, Zelda, are very pleased to come home to New England.

"The Winnipesaukee Playhouse has welcomed me like family. I am honored to become part of an organization that is so committed to both this community and this art form," said Brent.
"As a direct result of strong local support for our mission of providing professional theatre, community theatre and educational opportunities, The Winnipesaukee Playhouse continues to grow and requires organizational leadership and direction to insure our continued success," said playhopuse board chair Christopher Boothby. "Our Board, Founders, staff, volunteers and donors are excited to begin working with Susanna to ensure that our shared vision of expanding the region's cultural arts offerings on our spectacular campus becomes a reality."
Reflecting on the role that the Halperin family has played in the growth and development of the theatre, Boothby said "The critical role that Bryan, Johanna, Lesley and Neil have played in creating meaningful, life changing cultural arts opportunities for adults, children and volunteers is something that we as a community can never fully repay. We thank Bryan and Johanna, recognize that their role of founder is ongoing and will be looking forward to their continued great success as actors, directors, producers, costumers, and stars at The Winnipesaukee Playhouse in the years to come."
The Winnipesaukee Playhouse has recently announced its full summer professional theatre schedule which includes "The Foreigner", "The Importance of Being Earnest", "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", "Any Other Name" and "Talley's Folly". Additional information, season subscriptions, volunteer opportunities, donor support and ways to visit what Yankee Magazine called "NH's Best Summer Theatre" can be found at www.winnipesaukeeplayhouse.org or by calling 603-279-0333.

Last Updated on Monday, 02 June 2014 11:48

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Gilford Selectboard approves entertainment at Junior's

GILFORD — Selectmen have given Junior's Crush House permission to have outside entertainment on Tuesday's through Saturday until 11 p.m. conditioned on the restaurant's owner applying to the Planning Board for a site plan review.

In August of 2013, the board gave owner Bart Congialose conditional approval as a trial run to have outdoor entertainment with the caveat that the band include no more than two musicians.

Congialose asked for the bands to continue this year because he has had no complaints about noise and selectmen agreed. Music is on the back deck that is surrounded on three sides by woods and the fourth side faces the runway of the Laconia Airport.

Junior's Crush House is a restaurant and lounge located at 40 Weirs Road (Rte. 11-B). It open last summer in a building that been vacant for about a decade. The business features drinks make with crushed ice. It servers American-style cuisine.

Town Administrator Scott Dunn said Congialose's permit for live bands expired last October. With the new permit, he said Junior's Crush House can have outside entertainment until July 1.

In the interim, he said Congialose has to apply for a site plan review through the Planning Board.

Last Updated on Saturday, 31 May 2014 12:01

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Woman reports purse lost or stolen in downtown Laconia

LACONIA — Police are investigating a report of a Berlin woman who said that her wallet that contained a large amount of cash and four Red Sox tickets was either lost or stolen somewhere in downtown on May 23.

Police described the wallet as a black and silver one and said last time the woman remembered having it while she was at the Goodwill store.

Police said they have contacted many downtown merchants who said they have not seen the wallet and so far a lost wallet has not be turned in to them.

Anyone who may have any information is asked to call the Laconia Police at 524-5252 or the Greater Laconia Crime Line at 524-1717.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 May 2014 12:55

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Police say they've identified 'tagging' suspects

LACONIA — Police said yesterday that they have had some breakthroughs in the recent spate of spray painting vandalism or "tagging" throughout the city.

A police spokesman said that they believe the "tagging"is being done by a group of people in their late teens — some of whom are juveniles and some of whom are adults.

He said police found three people with empty spray paint cans on them within the past few day and are working to put a criminal case together.

Along with some spray painting of local businesses and schools, someone defaced one of the murals along the WOW Trail last week.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Laconia Police at 524-5252 or 524-1717.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 May 2014 12:52

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