Update from Genevieve Aichele, NHTP Executive Director
July 31, 2020
Dear NHTP Family & Friends,
It’s hard to believe that almost four months have passed since the Covid-19 pandemic drastically changed our lives. Here at New Hampshire Theatre Project, we are envisioning a new future for our organization and the craft of theatre. Based on the current NH State Guidelines for Performing Arts Centers, we can safely host only 12-16 audience members and 1-2 performers. Much as we all miss watching live theatre in our intimate venue, this model is not financially feasible. So what does that mean for NHTP programming?
Our 2020-21 season will include a combination of virtual programming, live micro-productions that will also be streamed online, and hopefully at least one full production at a larger local venue. We plan to announce fall/winter programming strategy by mid-August. Thanks to all of you who donated to NH Gives, we are working simultaneously on our new applied theatre piece We Don’t Know What This Is Yet, under the direction of CJ Lewis.
NHTP educational programs will continue in the fall with virtual workshops and classes, and we are working with Portsmouth Middle School and other community partners to develop new artist-in-residence programs. We have recently received an Arts in Healthcare grant from the NH State Council on the Arts and are collaborating with Seacoast Mental Health Center and other social service partners around the state to re-envision the Elephant-in-the-Room Series® for the virtual world.
And in the meantime, we’re taking this opportunity to do some deep cleaning and refurbishing at 959 Islington Street. Check out our new building sign, especially hand painted for us by scenic designer Christa Bellmare.
We are living in interesting times. The ongoing pandemic, economic uncertainty, challenges to most of our cultural systems and institutions – all of this takes its toll on our spiritual and emotional wellbeing. But the New Hampshire Theatre Project family is resilient and optimistic – all 51 of us (11 board members, 4 staff, 12 community advisors, 24 company and resident artists). We are moving, as Shakespeare said in Romeo & Juliet, “wisely and strongly.” Thank you for your faith and support, and for taking this journey with us.
Genevieve Aichele, Executive Director