Gig&Tell: NCCA Papermill Theatre

  • solid summer option    
    09/25/2012  12:50am

    Nice people, small town but touristy enough to have a decent wine bar and a few entertainments. The housing is okay but not private. The quality of production was higher than I expected for the payscale, and the overall feeling was good. I would work there again, definitely.

    This was the best summer stock experience of my life! Granted, I was 20 years old, and just finished my junior year of college. **I'm 24 now, so it wasn't that long ago. But, the friends I made there, are still some of my closest friends in nyc.

    The pay is terrible, but they house and feed you. Plus, I didn't really care how much I was getting paid at the time, because I was still in school. I was just excited to be doing a show. The talent they get is incredible, and many of my friends from that year are now on broadway, off-broadway, and doing nat'l tours. The housing isn't private, but it's definitely fun. There's booze stashed in various locations of the "penguin" lodge.

    The productions are actually pretty good, and the audience loves every minute of it.

    I would highly recommend any college student/recent college grad to work here. You make great connections with people, and it's just a fun filled summer.

    10/01/2012  11:08am

    The new theatre space is wonderful and the mountain town of Lincoln is completely supportive. The theatre does their very best to make the experience the best it can be for its performers, and makes it a priority to pull together a group of talented people you'll actually want to spend your free time with (which as we all know is not always the case). The highlight of the summer was the annual garden party where you perform at a Willy-Wonka-esque home owned by two of the greatest women you'll ever meet. The housing is decent (try to negotiate a place at Henry House as opposed to the Penguin if you can - it's quieter and a little more comfortable...but the Penguin has the perk of some rehearsals taking place in your same building). Pay is on par with what you'd expect to get at other non-equity houses, but more importantly, the work is fun. If you're outdoorsy, there are tons of amazing hikes to go on nearby and you're just down the road from the Kancamagus highway, which offers incredible views, not too far from the Franconia Notch State Park, which has a great beach, an aerial tram and more sightseeing (the flume is one of the coolest places to go in the summertime), and there's a magical place the company calls Narnia just down the road from the company housing (trust me - you'll want to find a former company member to point the way). If you have access to a car, bring it - you can easily get around the town of Lincoln, and to and from rehearsals, but having the freedom to go beyond the town's boundaries is worth the cost of getting your car there. They are now doing year-round work, not just summer stock, so keep your eyes peeled for other auditions. Would work here again in a heartbeat!

    03/05/2014  5:10am

    The theatre space itself is nice and it's in a cute little town in the middle of the mountains. They also assembled a great group of people and the community that supports the theatre there is wonderful!

    That said, the theatre does struggle for audiences, so you may be playing to tiny houses for anything but the big August production. The pay they will offer you is not good -- negotiate for more if you can and there's only one small dressing room backstage, which the company fights over, cause there's no way for more than a half-dozen people to fit in there. The quality of the shows can only be so high because of tiny budgets and the housing is not great.

    The big issue was the artistic director, Scott. He is very unprofessional and casts himself as the lead in the main production, which is a little gross, and makes for some weird situations. There were also issues all summer long, a lot of them coming directly from him (directing actors on the side, hiring clueless designers, making inappropriate comments, etc.).

    I'd go back for double the money, or if they announced the theatre was under new leadership.

    Tread carefully and figure out if you want to mess with the ego that is Scott (he will be at the auditions) before accepting a summer offer.

    04/03/2015  7:53pm

    I had a pretty good time at Jean's Playhouse overall. We had amazing directors with incredible credentials (one was Hal Prince's assistant for years), housing was included and isn't bad (they've nixed "The Penguin" as a viable housing option), it's in a beautiful area of New Hampshire (but bring a car because it's in the middle of nowhere), the shows were beautiful, and the community embraced the company with open arms.

    My biggest issue comes from the Artistic Director, Scott. He is generally a nice guy if you have a casual conversation with him, he gives the company a lot of free drinks at events, and tries to plan multiple fun company outings, but beware if he is in a bad mood (most of the time).
    He cast himself as the lead last year, this year, and plans on doing it again next year. He has the talent to be the roles he casts himself as, but is a NIGHTMARE to work with as a fellow actor. Once rehearsals were over for the show he was in, it was a million times better, but still.
    He posts on his public Facebook page what he's upset about that day (usually himself or an audience member's opinion of the show).
    Another problem I had was with the poorly organized children's camp that the company is required to be counselors for. If you can miraculously get that off your contract, DO IT. If not, hopefully they will improve how it is run next year.

    I would definitely work here again if it was under new direction, but that being said I wouldn't give up the summer I had. If you are cast in a great role or just really want to spend a summer in the beautiful White Mountains with a talented company and great directors, go for it!

    09/04/2015  9:32pm