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New London Barn Playhouse

New London Barn Playhouse
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About Us

The New London Barn Playhouse is the oldest continuously operating summer theater in New Hampshire, a distinction which has gained it inclusion in the state’s Register of Historic Places.

In the summer of 1933, Mrs. Josephine Etter Holmes, Chair of the Department of Speech at Mount Holyoke College, established the New London Players of New Hampshire. On July 11th at a sold out Whipple Memorial Hall, three one-act plays were presented. Tickets were 50 cents, pillows a nickel. Costumes, props, and ushers were provided by the local community. That winter Josephine purchased the Everett Barn, built around 1820, on Main Street. Patrons sat on long wooden benches the evening of July 12, 1934 to see Milestones, a drama of industrial conflict in England during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

In 1955, Norman Leger, a graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City, purchased a majority interest in the theater which he would guide for the next half century. The Barn that evolved under Norman had the feel of an old Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney movie. The dominant theme: “Hey kids, let’s put on a show.” The Barn Playhouse structure underwent great changes with the addition of front and back porches and improvements to seating, stage, and production areas.

The mission of the New London Barn Playhouse evolved over time with Norman stressing the development of young artists interested in pursuing a career in theater. Shortly before his death, a group of board members worked with Norman to create a nonprofit corporation to carry on the tradition of the Barn Playhouse.

Video Media

Events

Legally Blonde Jr.
As You Like It - 5th Grade Shakespeare
  • The Barn Playhouse continues New London’s 5th Grade Shakespeare tradition! This year, we follow the cast of lovers and fools into the Forest of Arden.
  • Friday Apr 19, 2024
A Bad Case of the Stripes - 5th Grade Musical

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