Season filled with free music concerts, festivals, kids events,theatre and more!
PORTSMOUTH, NH - Prescott Park Arts Festival is preparing to launch its' 35th season on Friday, June 26. Held in Prescott Park, the festival is one of the Seacoast's most loved summer traditions with its weekly presentations of free events including music concerts, festivals, kids events, musical theatre, dance, and more.
New England's oldest and largest outdoor theatre will present Grease as part of the FairPoint Communications MainStage throughout the summer on Thursdays and Sundays at 7 PM, and Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM, from June 26 to August 23.
37 years ago, Grease was hit Broadway and by the end of its run in 1980, it had earned the title of the longest running Broadway show in history. It has been revived and revised in New York and London's West End numerous times, because a hit film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, and most recently, the basis for a reality TV show.
"We're excited to present Grease this season," said Prescott Park Arts Festival executive director Ben Anderson, "It's famed by all types and ages, from its stereotypical hopeless romantics to the bad boys, the great humor, and of course, the addictive and incredible music."
The audience will be transported back to Rydell High where a new girl from abroad finds her summer love attends the same high school. A modest girl, she soon discovers that relationships are harder than expected. With characters like the sarcastic Rizzo, salty Kenickie, the dreamer Frenchy, the class clown Roger, and Patty the cheerleader, the musical has a funny cast to help Sandy come into her own in her new town.
The production is directed by David Kaye, Head of Acting and Directing at the University of New Hampshire's department of Theatre and Dance, and features a full cast of talented actors. Tara Jean Conway, who won a Spotlight Award for Best Actress for her role as Maria in Prescott Park's 2007 production of The Sound of Music, is performing as Sandy Dumbrowski.
"The musical has always been the signature event of the festival and an important part of the tradition," said Mr. Anderson, "Presenting Grease on our thirty-fifth anniversary is quite special for us as it was last produced in the park in 1983 as part of our tenth anniversary."
Besides Grease, the festival offers a full array of programs including music concerts, festivals, kids events, and dance.
"We have quite a few exciting musicians coming to the park this year," said Anderson, "What you can find in the park this summer is really quite exciting."
The Wednesday night concert series, now officially called the River House Restaurant Concert Series will run all summer and feature numerous international acts such as Richie Havens, July 29, and Tom Rush, July 1, in addition to numerous cutting edge acts such as The Lost Bayou Ramblers, August 27, The Waybacks, August 5, Louisiana's finest Pine Leaf Boys, July 15, and Jonathan Edwards, August 12.
The Prescott Park Arts Festival's annual music festivals including Showcase Festival (July 4), Tommy Gallant Jazz Festival (July 5), Folk Festival (July 18), Americana Festival (August 15) Rhythm & Roots Festival (August 8) and Country Festival (August 1) have also exploded with talent including such acts as Canada's top fiddler and only 20 years old Samantha Robichaud, David Bromberg, Ben Baldwin & The Big Note, Elsa Cross, The Molenes, SOLAS and many more.
"It really is incredible," exclaimed Mr. Anderson, "We're one of a kind in this country in terms of the caliber of artists we'll present this summer. Where else can you find these kinds of acts offered in such a beautiful setting with no fixed admission?"
When asked about the response around the 2009 line-up of performers, Mr. Anderson responds, "We've been receiving telephone calls from people across the country looking for more information. Most of them are asking how they can secure tickets. I tell you, there is nothing better than being able to respond that they are all free and welcome to all."
Since 1996, the Arts Festival has consistently been named by Yankee magazine as a "must see" tourist attraction. Prescott Park Arts Festival is an independent non-profit organization with a mission of serving the community with a diverse array of quality arts events accessible to all.
For more information on the festival, or to see a full schedule of events, visit www.prescottpark.org or call 603-436-2848.