Gig&Tell: Winnipesaukee Playhouse

  • A Wonderful place to call home    
    03/15/2013  5:41pm

    Winni P is a fantastic summer theater that treats its actors like gold, and gives you plenty of time off. They operate under equity rules for everyone (they are all non equity, so they certainly don't have to) so you get plenty of time off and are never overworked

    They produce high caliber shows, and truly they are genuinely nice and kind people who just love theater. A great summer theater to get started at, and a huge step up from a lot of other summer stock jobs in terms of hours, pay and housing. The housing is gorgeous!

    Also this year, 2013, they are opening a new state of the art bigger theater. So this is the perfect year to join them if you never have before. And if they like you, chances are you will be back again and again!

    I just wanted to say that it was because of the former review - 'treated their actors like gold', 'high caliber shows' - that helped me to decide to perform at Winni P this summer, I'm leaving my own. I chose to perform in only one show because the pay is very low, but my time there was the highlight of my summer, possibly my year.

    It's true that as an actor, despite being a non-union house they treat you with the utmost respect and professionalism. There are no extra duties - your job is to be there and rehearse and perform. The staff is extremely personable, approachable, and love their actors. It is like a big family up there.

    The new theater is BEAUTIFUL and state-of-the-art, and the production value is top notch. Wish there were more than only 11 peformances.

    And while you live in a pretty remote area, it's only a short drive to the lake, which is stunning. So it doubles as vacation!! I love this playhouse, highly recommend it!

    10/02/2013  3:07pm

    Just finished a show here, and the respect for the actors is really REALLY great. Their new space came with some really supportive donors who gave us perks, like 50 dollars for groceries, and 50 dollars for the lobby bar over the course of your stay there (lobster rolls, cheese, and wine!). This helps to counteract the relatively low paycheck (225-250 a week). Lesley and Neil care deeply about the talent and listen to all of your qualms and legitimately do their best to fix them; and 9 times out of 10 they do get fixed within 2 days.

    Artistically, the cast was talented, with a mix of returning and newbies: almost all were housed. The Music Direction was a little wonky at first with not a lot of clear choices, but once the band came in it all seemed to gel together, with an excellent sound system. My specific show had the largest cast in the space yet, and it was their 2nd musical: some of the direction was a little misinformed, but there was a clear focus on the text, which really helped! The Choreo was clean and simple, though working with the choreographer was probably the most exhausting part of the process.... without a dance call, it was a lot of her to ask for doubles from everyone, and then get snappy when they couldn't deliver. This ties back to some of the misinformation in terms of casting a large musical and maybe holding more comprehensive auditions.

    The people were all great personalities, actors and staff alike. The town was BEAUTIFUL with a huge lake full of paddling right next door. Bring a car if you can.

    One of the only downsides was strike, where actors needed to participate ( stated in contract). And we really participated, past simple things: we spent around 4.5 hours after closing night with power tools deconstructing everything along with the actual tech crew, who except for the TD were all college-age or recent grads. At one point a large steel platform fell on a volunteer's head, at which point he was driven to the hospital... nothing serious, but maybe with more supervision and a more experienced crew that didn't have to rely on actors, this could have been avoided.

    All-in-all, a lovely contract, and with more donor's money coming in, they can hopefully improve pay and cut actors from strike.

    07/18/2015  7:15pm

    I worked here this summer. I would definitely go back!

    Pros:
    Beautiful modern theater facility built 2-3 years ago. Rehearsal space, beautiful theatre, dressing rooms, etc.

    Good Housing

    Nice People. Generous donors supplied gift cards to performers. The people who run the theater take care of their actors and staff. Truly a lovely group of people.

    Lovely town.

    Great production quality.

    Cons:

    Only $225 a week. This is negotiable, but not everyone on my contract was making the same amount.

    Total lack of communication between director and choreographer. It was like they were doing two different shows and often had uncomfortable moments in rehearsal.

    MD was essentially a rehearsal pianist. Besides teaching notes she had no real presence.

    Rehearsal atmosphere at times was unprofessional, but I credit that to this particular cast and a director who was very unclear of what he wanted.

    Overall though definitely a contract worth taking!

    08/29/2015  12:34pm

    Fantastic company. Professional, organized, respectful, high artistic standards, welcomes newcomers. I've worked at 5 non-Eq summer stock companies so far, and this is by far the best!

    09/24/2017  1:49am