Formed in 1986 by a group of local business leaders, North Country Center for the Arts (NCCA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization supporting arts in northern New Hampshire and throughout the state. During its first summer, NCCA, in cooperation with the Lincoln Arts Council, presented Children’s Theatre under a tent. The following year, the former papermill building was transformed into the Papermill Theatre and NCCA presented its first Mainstage season with productions of Carnival,Harvey, Deathtrap and Cabaret. The Papermill Theatre’s reputation has evolved into high quality, professional artistic performances and has been rewarded with numerous New Hampshire Theatre Awards, including those for Best Production, Direction, Choreography, Scenic Design, and most recently for Dan Brunk’s 2012 Best Lighting Design for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
The Papermill Theatre Mainstage Company has produced and presented shows to over 150,000 local residents, second-home owners, and tourists. Each summer the Children’s Theatre delights over 12,000 children and adults in communities throughout New Hampshire including Claremont, Concord, Intervale, Littleton, Lincoln, Plainfield, Plymouth and Waterville Valley.
In addition to the Mainstage and Children’s Theatre shows, members of the Papermill Theatre Mainstage company lead a two-week Broadway Bound Summer Theatre Camp for youth, where students experience the exciting journey of becoming a “triple threat” (acting, singing and dancing) musical theatre performer. Workshop classes include Musical Theatre Dance, Acting a Song, and Scene Study. The camp concludes with a showcase performance for friends, family and community members.
The Papermill Theatre North Country Center company, led by Artistic Director Kate Arecchi, consists of 40-60 actors, technical and administrative staff who hail from across the country. Many of the staff are recruited from auditions and interviews such as Straw Hat in New York City and New England Theatre Conference (NETC) in Boston. The Penguin Ski Lodge, once home to the Lincoln Opera House, serves as the main residence for the staff, complete with a dining room and gymnasium that serves as rehearsal space.
NCCA not only serves as a source of entertainment for locals and visitors, but also plays an integral role in the community. Hundreds of local residents actively volunteer for NCCA by working in the office, ushering for shows, caring for the theatre garden, helping with fundraising events, and serving as Ambassadors. NCCA also collaborates with the local school’s Future Business Leaders of America club and Community Service classes on a variety of marketing and arts administration projects. In addition, NCCA donates tickets to local community groups and individuals who otherwise would not be able to afford to attend a show.
For 25 years the Mainstage and Children’s Theatre companies created magic from the old paper mill building, but in the fall of 2009, the time came for the building to come down and for a new facility, so richly deserved, to take its place.
North Country Center for the Arts has built with a capital campaign that raised $2.6 million to construct Jean’s Playhouse, a 12,000 square foot facility situated on 1.78 acres of land donated by the town of Lincoln. Named for long time NCCA supporter and community leader Jean Hallager, Jean’s Playhouse is the new year-round home for North Country Center for the Arts. Jean’s Playhouse allows NCCA to expand programming beyond the summer months, provide much needed facilities to local schools, non-profits, and arts organizations, strengthen the region and businesses by increasing local employment opportunities and attracting visitors, and continue to produce the wonderful theatrical performances NCCA’s patrons have come to love and expect.
Nestled in New Hampshire’s White Mountains and serving as the gateway for the famed scenic Kancamagus Highway, the town of Lincoln was born out of the logging and paper industry in the late 1800’s. After three quarters of a century, Lincoln lost its only industry with the closing of the paper mill. The area’s economy quietly began shifting to the outdoor recreation and tourism industries with the opening of Loon Mountain Ski Area in 1966.
Since then restaurants, hotels, second homes, and tourist attractions established themselves in the area and the economy began to flourish. Visitors will find a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, a unique selection of tax-free shopping at dozens of shops, superb dining, and the most extensive selection of lodging in the White Mountains. For more information on the area, visit the Lincoln Woodstock Chamber of Commerce or call (603) 745-6621.