Nestled along the banks of the Pemigewasset River lies one of northern New England’s premier performing arts centers. The North Country Center for the Arts dates back to the mid-1980s when local business leaders and community members came together to explore the possibility of creating a community performing arts center in the Millfront Marketplace in Lincoln. In 1986, the North County Center for the Arts (NCCA) was officially born.
In the summer of 1986, the NCCA produced its first event under a tent at the Mill at Loon Mountain. The two-month-long Children’s Theatre Festival was a huge success and the NCCA hired Van McLeod, the first Producing Director. The following summer, the NCCA transformed the former paper mill in Lincoln into the Papermill Theatre. During its first season, the NCCA performed Carnival, Harvey, Deathtrap, and Cabaret.
After over 80 professional productions, the NCCA performed its final summer season at the Papermill Theatre in 2009. The old paper mill building was demolished that fall, making way for the new facility that is now known as Jean’s Playhouse. Jean’s Playhouse was officially opened in July 2012 and included performances of The Wedding Singer, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and A Grand Night for Singing. The new playhouse is named after long-time NCCA supporter and local leader, Jean Hallager, and is celebrating its 11th anniversary of opening in 2023!
Unlike the Papermill Theatre, Jean’s Playhouse allows for year-round productions and has three different branches of operation – Mainstage productions, produced in-house; Presenting Acts, such as comedians, musicians, and films; And Education programming, including IMPACT Touring Children’s Theatre and the StageSetters Youth Program.
The 2023 Fall Season at NCCA is sure to be an exciting one. Kicking it off on Sunday, September 3rd at 7:30pm is the Labor Day Comedy Show, with Greg Boggis hosting fantastic comedians Carolyn Plummer and Bob Niles.
On Friday, October 6th-Sunday, October 8th, the Crafted Concert Series takes over Jean’s, and brings together music and crafted beverages into one jam packed weekend. Raise a drink from their co-sponsors, Rhythm Handcrafted Beverages & the Woodstock Brewery, before you raise the roof with a different band each night of Columbus Day Weekend.
This year, they will be offering a limited number of VIP Passes, which can be purchased for an extra $15 per ticket per show. The VIP Pass invites you to join in on the fun at 6:00 PM for hors d’oeuvres, beer and cider tasting, a short meet and greet with the band, as well as first choice seating!
Want to see all three shows? Save 20% and buy a Crafted Concert Pass!
Friday, October 6th: The Adam Ezra Group – Working outside the confines of the traditional music industry, Adam Ezra and his bandmates – Corinna Smith (fiddle), Alex Martin (drums), Poche Ponce (bass) – built a community of fans through sheer grit and determination, regularly performing hundreds of shows a year for the past two decades without any major label or mainstream radio support. Fusing folk intimacy and rock energy with soul power and pop charm, the band first emerged from Boston in the early 2000s and quickly garnered widespread acclaim for their bold, insightful songwriting and interactive, euphoric performances. From hole in the wall bars and house concerts to sold-out headline shows and dates with the likes of Little Big Town, The Wallflowers, Gavin DeGraw, Train, and The Wailers, Ezra and his bandmates treated every single gig like their last, attracting a die-hard following that believed not just in the music, but in their commitment to activism and social change, as well.
Saturday, October 7th: The Deric Dyer Band – Deric’s focus for the last few years has been showcasing his talent and his band throughout New England. He has performed on Boston’s Fox 25 Morning Show as well as in benefit concerts for the Lupus Foundation, The Second Step and The American Heart Association. He also performed with some long time musical friends for the first major photographic exhibition on rock ‘n roll. Now, Deric’s newest CD, Renaissance Man is finally complete and has just been released. On this CD, Deric re-‐released his favorite tunes from his previous CDs and added four new tracks. This CD really shows his love for all different styles of music and his ability to make them his own. Tracks include titles like “Gimme Some Lovin’,” “Whatever Lola Wants,” ” Stand By Me,” “Nature Boy,” “Use Me Up” and “You & I.”
Sunday, October 8th: Billy Joel Tribute – David Clark’s “ALL ABOUT JOEL” is a musical tribute conceived and presented with a tremendous amount of detail by Long Island veteran singer/piano player David Clark. He continues to gain attention and popularity across the country with stunningly accurate piano playing, lead vocals, and an eerily similar stage look to the Piano Man himself while engaging the audience with wit and humor.
We’ll be announcing the remainder of the year, including the return of GHOST LIGHT, an interactive haunted attraction, a brand new musical adaptation of A CHRISTMAS CAROL coming in December, and more! Stay tuned!
Has all this excitement got you feeling hungry? NCCA has paired with numerous local dining establishments to offer “Dinner & a Show” deals. Read more here!
It’s rare for small mountain communities to have an award-winning performing arts center that attracts performers from all over the country and world. If you can’t make one of the shows this summer, you can support the NCCA through their Annual Fund or by volunteering as an usher.
The famous Irish playwright, Oscar Wilde, once said, “I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”
Discover the magic of the theatre this fall at the North Country Center for the Arts.
For state-wide information, head to VisitNH.gov