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 ShalinLiuPerformanceCenter and have proved to be extremely popular.