"The Peace of Portsmouth"
An Original Play
Pontine Theatre premiered its original play, The Peace of Portsmouth to rave reviews on April 22nd and reprises performances for the Centennial celebration. Using period newspaper articles, historical photographs, and turn of the century music and staging techniques, Co-Artistic Directors, Greg Gathers and Marguerite Mathews (NH Artist Laureate 02-06), explore this international diplomatic event from the viewpoint of the local citizens. The Peace of Portsmouth provides a glimpse of Portsmouth as it was in the summer of 1905.
The entire text of Pontine's new play is drawn from historical sources, particularly research in local newspapers of the day which detailed a chronicle of intimate encounters between local townspeople and the foreign celebrities, including:
" A tea hosted by Mrs. Helen C. Knight, Portsmouth's oldest resident, which featured the use of genuine Japanese tea which the hostess had received as a gift over 30 years previously.
" Baron Rosen's embarrassed reaction to the crowd of camerists, who pursue him day and night to catch him dishabille.
" The Japanese Fete held in York Harbor featuring a jiu jitsu
demonstration by Professor Yamashita and a host of local girls, dressed in Russian peasant garb and dispensing lemonade and other cooling drinks.
The creation and development of this piece was funded by grants from the Greater Piscataqua Community Foundation and The NH State Council on the Arts. The premiere run was underwritten by Jefferson-Pilot Financial.
"The Peace of Portsmouth" premiered on April 22, 2005, ran through May 8, 2005 on Fridays, Saturdays (7:30pm) and Sundays (2:30pm) then resumed performances on Thursday Aug 11 and Sep 1 (8pm) and Sunday Aug 14 & 28 (4 pm)
Performances were held at Pontine's West End Studio Theatre, 959 Islington Street, Portsmouth. (Tickets $19; $16 for seniors, students and starving artists). Reservations recommended.
Pontine is conducting a Community Theatre Workshop in performance and stagecraft, using "The Peace of Portsmouth" on Tuesday evenings from September 16 Through October 28, 2008. For information, contact Pontine at 603-436-6660 or email@example.com
Portsmouth Herald (August 30, 2005) -- Space gives Pontine room to try different formats
Portsmouth Herald (4/28/05) -- History never looked so good
Foster's Daily Democrat (4/21/05) -- Pontine's new work is lovely, worthwhile
Foster's Daily Democrat (4/14/05) -- Pontine brings language of Treaty to life
Foster's Daily Democrat (4/14/05) -- Treaty marked by celebrations, play, bell-ringing