Kid-friendly summer theatre

Discover the fun and excitement of New Hampshire’s summer theater scene

You don’t have to travel to Broadway to find great live theater. All across New Hampshire theater groups are getting ready for the curtain to raise on a summer’s worth of Tony-worthy performances, including many plays and musicals produced just for families. Let’s face it: summer blockbuster movies will all end up on Netflix. For something different, here’s where to find kid-friendly live theater near you.

Monadnock Region

Andy’s Summer Playhouse

Andy’s Summer Playhouse is an innovative children-only summer theater that provides kids with an unmatched opportunity to hone their acting skills. Started in 1971 as one play produced by the group’s two founding teachers, summer 2019 at Andy’s Playhouse will include more than 300 child players putting on such show stoppers including:

  • Goblin Secrets (July 5-13)
  • Ripe Frenzy (July 18-20)
  • URL vs. IRL (July 25-27)
  • The Registers: A Football Musical (August 8-17)

Peterborough Players

The Peterborough Players have been earning standing ovations for their summer performances since the playhouse began in 1933. In addition to numerous productions suitable for adult audiences, this year’s summer plays for younger audiences and families include:

White Mountains

Jean’s Playhouse

IMPACT (Imagination & Music – Professional Artistry in Children’s Theatre) is the professional children’s performance company of Jean’s Playhouse. Enjoy performances on Wednesday and Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. at Jean’s Playhouse in Lincoln, or catch performances at venues throughout New Hampshire. Scheduled performances for summer 2019 include:

  • The Little Mermaid (July 8–13)
  • The Wind and the Willows (July 15– 20)
  • Tom Sawyer (July 22–27)
  • Lost in Wonderland (July 29–August 3)
  • The Frog Prince (August 5–10)
  • Jack and the Beanstalk (August 12–17)

Weathervane Theater

The Weathervane Theater in Whitefield has been around for more than 50 years and pulls out all the stops each summer with a schedule that’s packed with family-friendly (and affordable!) programming. Shows are Fridays at 11 a.m. and they also perform at regional venues.

Scheduled performances for 2019 by the Weathervane’s Patchwork Players, include:

  • Life on a Plate
  • The Adventures of Tommie Sawyer
  • Billy Goats Gruff
  • Families are Like Fudge

Theatre in the Wood

You may have visited Theater in the Wood for its notoriously delicious Character Breakfasts and now it’s time to visit for some fantastic summer theater. Shows are performed by professional actors alongside Theater in the Wood’s Youth Campers. These original plays with unique songs present a new twist on classic tales. Shows are  Fridays at 5 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m. from July 5 to Aug. 17.

  • Alice in Wonderland (July 5-6)
  • The Jungle Book (July 12-13)
  • Sleeping Beauty (July 19-20)
  • Wizard of Oz (July 26-27)
  • Robin Hood (August 2-3)
  • Snow White (August 9-10)
  • Peter Pan (August 16-17)


Prescott Park Arts Festival

For live theater under the stars, head to Portsmouth for the Prescott Park Arts Festival’s summer 2019 performance of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Performances are (almost) every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from June 21 through August 18.

Rochester Opera House

This summer, check out the Tony Award-winning Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical. It’s the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. It is a captivating masterpiece that revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination, and the inspiring story of a girl who dreams of a better life. Packed with high-energy dance numbers and catchy songs Matilda is a joyous girl power romp. Performances scheduled June 13-30.

Lakes Region

Interlakes Theatre

For family-friendly live theater along the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, head to the Inter-Lakes High School Auditorium in Meredith where this summer’s Broadway-style musical productions include:

  • Annie, Jr. (July 13-14)
  • Shrek the Musical, Jr. (July 27-28)
  • Wizard of Oz, Young Performers Edition (August 10-11)

Merrimack Valley

Palace Theatre

Manchester’s Palace Theater is celebrating summer in the city with live plays and musicals just for families. Shows run approximately 45-60 minutes, which is perfect for smaller children. The 2019 Summer Children’s Series includes:

  • Beauty and the Beast (July 9-11)
  • Peter Pan (July 16-18)
  • Wizard of Oz (July 23-25)
  • The Little Mermaid (July 30-August 1)
  • Aladdin (August 6-8)
  • Jack and the Beanstalk (August 13-15)
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (August 20-22)

The Palace also welcomes magician BJ Hickman to their main stage for special shows on July 2-3.

Capitol Center for the Arts

If you’re hanging out in New Hampshire’s capital city this summer, then you won’t want to miss these great, kid-friendly performances by Impact Children’s Theater, RB Productions and other local summer youth groups.

Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee

New London Barn Playhouse

If your summer travels take you to the Lake Sunapee area, check out the 2019 Children’s Theater Series at the New London Barn Playhouse for performances including:

  • Around the World (June 29)
  • The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood (July 6)
  • A Mid Summer Night’s Dream (July 20)
  • Princess K.I.M. (July 25)
  • Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (August 15 and 17)
Categories: Summer Fun