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M & D Playhouse is Moving Theater into Life

By Elisha Neubauer

Theater has been important in human civilization for as long as history can show us. Whether the ancient Greeks or the early Christians to the empowered females of the 1970s, theater has been a prevalent factor in our society.

For the folks of North Conway, New Hampshire, M & D Playhouse offers a way to partake in this integral part of our history.

M & D Playhouse was launched in 2000 by Ken Martin and Mark DeLancey. The pair shared a common belief that theater had a responsibility to educate as well as entertain, and so they designed the theater to capitalize on this concept. The small, 76 seat theater features a black box theater layout, which consists of a basic, uncomplicated performance space boasting black walls and a flat floor. This intimate design allows the audience to be submerged in the work, encouraging emotional attachments to the actors and scenarios playing onstage before them.

"Each show has a custom designed set and all our actors are members of the community, from teachers to carpenters, waiters and retail workers who have rehearsed for weeks to present to you award-winning performances, year-round," Ken Martin, artistic director, said.

Wanting to help increase awareness of social issues, the theater partners with many local non-profits to reach the community at large. Shows include a wide range of social issues, from drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, rape, and even sexual identity issues.

"Not all our shows delve into such topics, some are just for enjoyment of the spectacle of live theatre," Martin said.

"At M&D Playhouse we strive to help actors hone their craft, which can help in other venues, like public speaking and always bolsters self-confidence," Martin said. "The Arts, for us, are not meant only to entertain, though we certainly hope they do; but also to educate, enlighten and broaden the horizons of each person who steps through our doors."

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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