LACONIA — Powerhouse Theatre Collaborative, the new theatre program at the Belknap Mill, has announced the planned lineup for its inaugural 2021 season, sponsored by Spectacle Live. While it’s an abridged season due to the pandemic, the 2021 slate will give Lakes Region audiences an idea of the types of theatrical productions and collaborations that Powerhouse will be producing. Serving as the resident theatre company at both the Belknap Mill and the Colonial Theatre Powerhouse will be producing a “Mill Series” and a “Colonial Series.”

The 2021 “Colonial Series” will be sponsored by RE/MAX Bayside and The Taylor Community.

Powerhouse is starting its “Mill Series” with two Covid-safe events, a Zoom New Play Festival in April sponsored by The Taylor Community and Chisholm Persson and Ball, PC, and an outdoor Park New Play Festival in Rotary Riverside Park in May, sponsored by TS Event Productions and The Dow Realty Group. These festivals are produced in collaboration with Community Players of Concord.

Over thirty community theatre participants will be in each of the festivals as serving playwrights, directors, and actors.

In August, Powerhouse hopes to present its first Colonial production, The Dinner Party, a lesser known play by America’s comedic master, Neil Simon. Directed by Powerhouse Producer Bryan Halperin, the play will be produced in collaboration with Community Players of Concord.

In September, in commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, Powerhouse will hold a reading of Anne Nelson’s 9/11 play, The Guys, sponsored by Boothby Therapy Services and The Prior Family. In this touching play a fire captain seeks the help of a writer in crafting eulogies for his men lost at the Twin Towers.

November brings the first large-scale community theatre production at the Colonial when Powerhouse will produce the Pulitzer Prize winning masterpiece, Our Town by Thornton Wilder. “Our Town is my favorite play, being all about celebrating community in small town America, we couldn’t resist putting it in our inaugural season as we try to build a theatre community in our town,” says Halperin. Our Town is sponsored by Lovering Volvo Meredith and The Soucy Family and will audition in late August.

The season will wrap up in December with a collaboration with NCCA at Jean’s Playhouse, sponsored by Melcher and Prescott Insurance and Misiaszek Turpin, PLLC Architecture/Planning.

The Colonial stage will be the place for A Christmas Carol: The Musical Ghost Story, an adaptation by Joel Mercier, Producing Artistic Director of NCCA.

Powerhouse is dedicating its inaugural season to David Bownes. “David was instrumental in getting us involved in the Colonial. He was a tireless advocate for the Colonial rehabilitation project, a dedicated advocate of the Belknap Mill and a passionate supporter of, and participant in, community theatre in the Lakes Region. We want to make sure his contribution is recognized,” says Halperin.

Follow Powerhouse through the Belknap Mill and Colonial Theatre websites, on Facebook, or contact powerhouse@belknapmill.org for more details on these productions and other opportunities to get involved or become a sponsor.

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