Sunday, May 5, 2013

Coming May 9, 10, 11, 12, 2013

 Dividing the Estate

by Horton Foote
(The author of Trip to Bountiful)

Thursday thru Saturday evenings at 7:30
and Sunday Matinee at 3PM

Spiran Hall
Broadway and School Street
Rockport, MA

Tickets available at the door prior to performances and at
Toadhall Books, Rockport and The Bookstore, Gloucester
$15 Donation            Students $10

Thursday, July 26, 2012

September 14, 15, 16, 2012
Shalin Liu Performance Center
Rockport, MA

Theatre in the Pines is celebrating its 25th year of presenting plays in Rockport, Massachusetts with its production of Ken Ludwig’s Lend Me a Tenor at the new Shalin Liu Performance Center this September. This will be Theatre in the Pines eightieth production, and the second time it has presented Lend Me a Tenor.

The popular community theatre was founded by and is still under the artistic direction of Nan Webber, whose theatrical career spans fifty years. Ms. Webber, who graduated from Boston University’s theatre program and holds a Master of Arts from New York University, taught and acted for twelve years in New York before returning to her home town of Gloucester, Massachusetts, where she taught theatre at Gloucester High School for 23 years. In New York she acted at Circle in the Square under the direction of Jose Quintero, whose guidance was key to her.

Theatre in the Pines is named for the location of its rehearsal hall, a huge Quonset hut constructed of iron and plastic, which sits under the pines on Rockport’s Squam Hill. For productions the company has performed at various venues over the years, and now alternates between the intimate space of the Scandinavian Spiran Hall, and the new Shalin Liu concert hall located on Rockport’s waterfront, the home of Rockport Music. Producing three to four plays a year, productions have covered the range of world theatre from The Trojan Women and Hamlet to The Boys Next Door and Nunsense.

In 1996 Theatre in the Pines produced Lend Me a Tenor not only in Rockport, but took the play on the road to the Tower Theatre in London, where it was very well received. One member of that original cast, Rick Doucette, will be reprising his role as Tito in September. The company is particularly looking forward to presenting this play about the tribulations of opera singers. During the year Metropolitan Opera simulcasts are broadcast at the Shalin Liu Performance Center and have proved to be extremely popular.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

THEATER REVIEW: 'Summer and Smoke' not to be missed in Rockport

By Keith Powers/correspondent
Posted May 17, 2012 @ 11:21 PM

Rockport —
If you go... 
What: Theatre in the Pines performs Tennessee Williams’ “Summer and Smoke”

Where: Spiran Hall, 18 Broadway, Rockport

When: Friday and Saturday. May 18 and 19, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 20, 3 p.m.
Tickets: $15. Available at the Bookstore in Gloucester, or Toad Hall in Rockport, or at the door.

If Theatre in the Pines’ 25th anniversary season, which opened Thursday evening with Tennessee Williams’ “Summer and Smoke,” gets any better than this, the troupe’s loyal following is in for a treat. With a crisply played reading full of intelligence, director Nan Webber’s players attacked Williams’ Southern psychodrama about a high-strung preacher’s kid and her rakish neighbor with gusto and robust energy.

Heidi Pulkkinen shines as Alma Winemiller, whose nervous temperament almost overwhelms a native intelligence—almost. Larry Cook stars as John Buchanan Jr., the next-door doctor’s son, whose own career in medicine has been emphatically placed on the back burner while he explores his animal instincts. Both were stunningly sharp on opening night, and their chemistry—if that’s the word to describe two characters who never actually intersect, except as combatants—was impossible to miss.

The role of Alma is a true creation of genius. There’s not a stereotypical bone in her body: she’s “hysterical,” but not stupid. She’s sensitive, but not easily offended. She’s not worldly, but nothing surprises her. Pulkkinen had it all, every nuance that makes Alma’s transition in the play—as dramatic a transformation as can be imagined—entirely believable.

She was matched at every turn by Cook, who, as the handsome young doctor’s son, more interested in the late-night casino life than in small-town traffickings, could easily have been played as a drunken stay-out. But Cook transformed him into a genuine man, someone who blithely makes mistakes, but eventually rights himself and becomes a real citizen.

The two stars dominated the show, but several supporting actors made the most of their time. Alma’s crazy-like-a-fox mother (Mary Rudolph Black), the unhinged preacher’s wife who lives for laughs, cigarettes and ice cream, almost stole the show. One scene, with Alma hyperventilating in rage about something or other, and her mother responding non-stop like a sitcom laugh track, stormed through like a hurricane. Eileen Fitzgerald, as the sexy Hispanic from the wrong side of town, and Courtney Peckham, as a coming-of-age small-town girl, both sketched out their characters with distinction. Walter Peckham, Sarah Clark, Karl Pulkkinen and Martin Ray also played believably.

The sets were simple—half preacher’s parlor, half doctor’s office—and with some of the acting spilling out into the audience, “Summer and Smoke” was blocked elegantly for the cramped stage. Costumes, especially Alma’s tasteful but fetching outfits, were spot-on for a small Southern town.

“Summer and Smoke” runs through Sunday afternoon at Spiran Hall in Rockport. Don’t miss a chance to see some excellent acting bring Tennessee Williams’ spirited clash of wills to life.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Welcome to Theatre in the Pines

Coming Next! 
May 17 - 20, 2012 
Spiran Hall, Rockport, MA
Summer and Smoke
by Tennessee Williams

Tickets available at:
Toad Hall Books, Rockport
The Bookstore, Gloucester
At the Door at Spiran Hall

Enriching the Arts on Cape Ann

 Please join the excitement and keep the fun alive!

       Theatre In The Pines has played a vital role in the artistic and cultural life on Cape Ann for the past 22 years. Under the direction of Nan Webber, the founder and artistic director, productions from the experimental The Cripple of Inishmaan and The Boys Next Door to classics such as As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Taming of the Shrew to the popular Crimes of the Heart, Arsenic and Old Lace, and Lend Me a Tenor, have informed, delighted, and entertained us. 
       When Nan retired from teaching, she knew that she was not going to be retiring from directing, but would have her own studio. She and Margaret Eddie looked through magazines for ideas about studio spaces and found the pre-fab studio which they ordered from a company that makes the structures for greenhouses. Margaret said they could make it work and it would be fun. They hired someone to excavate the site and bought the lumber for the floor. The studio came with an industrial fan for the summer and heater for the winter. Windows were installed in the back and front that would give good ventilation and close tightly in the winter. They collected rugs from all over and pieces of furniture from flea markets and swap shops. The studio was erected in 1987 and has survived hurricanes, snow storms, and nor’easters.
       Meanwhile, 77 productions later over the last 25 years, we’re still going strong. We are most fortunate in having Margaret Eddie as producer, Frank Wolcott as technical director and set designer, Carol McKenzie as wardrobe mistress, and Randy Dupps and Steve Rask as house managers. The membership of Theatre In The Pines consists of talented, hard working, and dedicated people who donate their time and energy to ensure that the Theatre continues to thrive.
       Theatre in the Pines would like to pay tribute to the entire membership and especially to those members who have been with the troupe for 20 years or more: Barbara Brewer, Frank Wolcott, Susan Barratt Souza, Ben and Sheryl Reed, Mary Rudolph Black, Marjorie Bagley Grace, Rick Doucette, Tony Gentile, and Suellen Wedmore.
       Through the years Theatre in the Pines has given benefit performances for Hospice, North Shore Aids Inc., The Children’s Foundation in Chile, The Clamshell Alliance, and Cancer Research. This year a portion of the proceeds from Lend Me a Tenor will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer in celebration of our director’s fifth anniversary as a cancer survivor.
       Theatre In The Pines is very grateful and thrilled by the overwhelming support shown by the people of Cape Ann.

  Please join the excitement and keep the fun alive! Email:

       The following is an excerpt from an article written for the newspaper in the spring of 2000 by Mike Carter, a Theater in the Pines actor:

       With all of the millennium madness now in the past, I recently found myself settling into this fresh new year and as I do each and everyyear around this time: I began to reflect.
        But as I reflected this spring, I realized a very special anniversary in my life. It had been 10 whole years since I first joined a small theater group in Rockport called “Theatre in the Pines.”
       For those of you not from the area, or for you residents just a little behind on your local culture, “Theater in the Pines” is a quality community theater troupe in Rockport that was established in 1987 by a retired teacher from Gloucester.
       And it is 10 years of rehearsing and learning under this wonderful director and teacher that has inspired me to pay tribute to her in some humble way for all that she has done for me personally, as well as for the community as a whole, over the past decade.
       Nan Webber, or “Web,” as she is affectionately known by many of her former drama students at GHS, has personally taught me as much about life’s lessons and values, through the art of theater, than any other single individual ever has. From the very first rehearsal up in that big greenhouse studio in the pines on the top of Squam Hill, I knew that I was part of something special that was going to enrich my life in many ways if only I allowed it to.
       The ensuing 10 years proceeded to bring me some of the best, as well as most difficult, moments of my entire life, and I am grateful today in saying that Nan has not only watched me through these times, but has always been a great director, teacher, and sometimes even a second mother to me.
       And so during this springtime 2000 as I reflect, I can’t help but acknowledge today what an asset Nan Webber has been, not only to me personally, but to so many of her former “cherubs” (that’s her own affectionate name for her former pupils) and to this community as a whole, and I would like to formally recognize Nan and her “Theatre in the Pines” as nothing less than a Cape Ann treasure.
       On a more personal note, I’d like to say: “Thanks Nan for seeing me through the difficult times, for being a tough director and teacher when I needed it most, and thank you always for being a role model and an inspiration to me. No matter what future success I may enjoy in life, or however far I travel, I will always cherish and acknowledge you as a great teacher and friend. It’s been an incredible run, and if I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing…”