I'm writing this in response to the letter printed by my friend Andre Belanger. I'm so glad that he wrote in with his thoughts on theatre in the Berlin area. I have spoken with him about the subject many times over the years and we are both very enthusiastic. Andre has agreed to not only help with the summer production, but he has already started to do so with thoughts, ideas and sketches for set design. I am thankful to have him on our team. The summer production is called “Arthurian” and as Andre stated in his letter, I wrote it. Although it would be fairer to say that I adapted it from the King Arthur legends that have been around for hundreds or years or more.
Arthurian focuses on the young life of the boy, Arthur, who will grow to be the King spoken of in the legends. At it's heart it is the story of two brothers growing up, one of whom is adopted. They have very different paths in life since one is noble and the other isn't. It asks questions about how much of our lives are based on destiny and how much is based on the choices that we make. Family relationships are strained when one boy is destined to be a knight, the other a servant, and a young maiden enters their lives. This show is a family appropriate adventure story, peppered with comedy action and drama. There will be nine shows over three weekends in August at 921 Main Street in Berlin.
Thank you again to Andre Belanger, and to you for taking the time to read this. We can and should work together to keep community theatre alive in the Berlin area.
Last Updated on Monday, 06 May 2013 21:28
NOTE:This successful fundraiser was the brainchild of Gina Saladino and Sharon Hamel. Both had sons, Bailey and Cael, in kindergarten and both boys had attended the Gorham Community Learning Center. Seeing the needs of the schools, Gina and Sharon believed a community fundraiser would be a good way to raise funds and awareness. he first spaghetti dinner was held six years ago, serving 200 dinners and raising $1,000. This year, more than 800 meals were served, $3000 raised and countless parents, grandparents and friends of the schools volunteered to make this such a great success. This has become an iconic community event that represents the wonderful area we live in and the great schools our children attend. It is with very grateful hearts that the parents and children thank all those who contributed and enjoyed great food!
In the middle of a crazy March snow storm on March 19t, Saladino's Restaurant in Gorham was the place to be for lunch and dinner. The 6, annual Saladino’s fundraiser served 831 meals and with the assistance of more than 75 volunteers that raised money for the Gorham Middle School and the Ed Fenn Elementary School in Gorham.
We thank Yokohama Restaurant, Jay's Corner, Town & Country, Boott Spur Grill, Eastern Depot, Pizza Hut, Circle K, Central Paper, PFC foods, White mountain cafe, Mr. pizza, IGA, Gorham Booster Club, Cafe Services, Gorham House of Pizza, SaveALot, AVH and Sysco for additional support by donating products and allowing us to keep the cost of the meal the same and serve so many meals.
Our countless volunteers helped by baking desserts, rolling 300 lbs of meatballs, slinging spaghetti, making salads, filling dressings, cutting bread, rolling silverware, delivering meals to local businesses, setting tables and serving customers! Again, they did this all for the benefit of our local schools.
The organized, chaotic day ended with us serving 831 meals in just 8 hours. Four hundred and eighty plus meals were delivered to area businesses such as AutoNorth, AVH, Mt Tire, Berlin City Auto group, Brookfield Power, Northway bank, SAU 20, SAU 3, GCLC, Gorham Paper & Tissue and many others. We thank every person that ate with us, take out or dine in that day. Your support is very appreciated.
In six years, the Saladino’s Spaghetti Fundraiser has provide $19,075 to our community schools. Edward Fenn Elementary has received $9,875, Gorham Community Learning Center $5,600 and Gorham Middle School $3,600. The funds have helped to fill a large gap in the basic needs in our schools by providing classroom furniture, storage units, SmartBoard, cameras, digital media equipment, microscopes, and funding for enrichment programs and activities.
Our sincerest thanks to Michael and Sylvia Saladino for allowing us to take over their restaurant, giving up all business for the day and once again helping our schools.
Last Updated on Monday, 06 May 2013 21:27
Renee Stewart Parents For Playgrounds
Last Updated on Monday, 06 May 2013 18:05
I write this letter to share a few thoughts about the idea of local community theatre, How it may have begun, how important it has been to my community since I can remember, and how its contribution has made for truly engaging entertainment.
First, I wish to explain a misunderstanding about Theatre North, our newly dissolved community theatre based in the Berlin/Gorham Valley. Foremost, “I” did not “start” Theatre North, as has been said in the most recent months. Certainly, there was a really good idea that was shared with a couple of my friends. But it was not my idea alone. We three dreamed together to grow a great concept. We three teenagers thought that it would be really neat to do a play in the Jr. High gym since it was pretty much under used during the summer. We had no idea that our youthful enthusiasm would lead a passionate campaign to develop a venue for people to be able to go to plays year round in “our town”. Yes, we were very instrumental in planting the seed in the minds of some adults, but we did not “start” Theatre North. It was a collective concept.
Which brings me to the second point. It takes a village. Although we teens bubbled with enthusiasm, Theatre North would never have been brought to fruition without the community in community theatre. We spoke to our teachers. We spoke to our parents. They spoke to the people they knew, and those people spoke to the people they knew. And the ball got rolling! Within a few weeks, there was a full blown effort to get this community theatre going. There were entire families involved. There were mill workers, city officials, police, firefighters, artists, teachers, clergy, hardware companies, lumber yards, musicians, actors, seamstresses, attorneys, individuals, companies and corporations all working for one cause: to build a venue that would benefit the Berlin/Gorham Valley by introducing and developing a theatre company that would provide high quality community theatre to
anyone wishing to be involved, by either participating in or viewing plays in the North Country of New Hampshire. Theatre North was community Theatre at its best. We performed in the Brown Co. Barn, in The Berlin High School Auditorium, in The Gorham Town Hall, in Berlin City Hall, In the Notre Dame Arena, in The Berlin Recreation Center, at St Kieran Art Center, in St. Joseph Hall, The Dairy Bar, The Town and Country ...and the list goes on! We did Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams, comedies, melodramas, satires, dramas, musicals and one person shows. Theatre North was so good that at one point, that when we began to enter state competitions, virtually every time we competed, we came home with awards: Best Play, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Stage Production, etc. We became “Award Winning Theatre North”.
But everything has a life cycle. In time, TN grew tired, and had to meet an end. Within this past month, it was the last curtain call for TN. Her assets, costumes and lights, were donated to WREN, and the non-profit organization Theatre North was dissolved. She is now alive in our memories alone. As “they” say, it was great while it lasted. But here’s the real trip, folks! It seems that although TN sleeps, theatre as an entity cannot die in this community! There’s a new crowd of people moving forward with a brand new company. Jonathan Dubay (of the Berlin Emergency Medical Services fame ) is leading the band, and is producing his play “Arthurian”. I’ve seen it advertised in flyers and in the newspaper and as I understand, it is a story about a young boy Arthur and his escapades that form him into the enigma that we know now as King Arthur. I have had the opportunity to speak with Jonathan about his script (yes you read that correctly, he authored the script himself) and his enthusiasm bubbles over. Sounds familiar.
There just might be a Phoenix rising from the ashes here, an “encore” shouted out from the roar of the applause. Who knows, if the community were to become involved in this production, there might be another community theatre company developing right before our eyes.
I hope that Mr Dubay could share a little bit more about his plans so that we can know how to get involved, where to gather, and when all of this stuff will take place. I’d be willing to bet From everyone involved with Theatre North since the mid 1970s thank you for supporting live community theatre.Please jump aboard and support in any way you can the new the new venture will become a “community” venture.
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 May 2013 19:42
Although Sen. Kelly Ayotte came to the North Country to have a nice photo opportunity with what is seen as positive for northern New Hampshire, on Wednesday, April 17, she showed us her true colors, by voting against the gun background checks and their amendments that would have put an end to the gun show loophole and limits on high capacity magazines. Polls show 90 percent of Americans are for this law so we know where her allegiance is and it’s not to the voters.
Sen. Ayotte'd allegiances is to the NRA and their lobbyist, and gun manufacturers who fund the Republican reelection campaigns. I commend Sen. Jeanne Shaheen for her yes vote on background checks and putting the voters of New Hampshire and their families at priority, not the gun manufacturers, and the National Rifle Association and their campaign dollars. I would guess she is now doing photo opportunities with Wayne LaPierre, Ceo of the NRA, and assault weapons manufacturers and high capacity magazine manufacturers.
So how do we face the children and students and say our leaders we put in power at the state level have failed the voters and their children in order to to protect the NRA and assault weapons makers. We need to keep Sen. Ayotte's voting records in mind when her term comes up and she needs the voters of New Hampshire again. Remember, she is part of the Republican obstructionism which set a record number of filibusters. She’s part of the problem.
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 May 2013 19:36