News & Views
Photo of Sandwich Village by Joe Janis
What is your name and the name of your organization?
Jessie Chapman (Executive Director), Advice To The Players
How did you get to Sandwich, NH?
ATTP's founder, Caroline Nesbitt, was a guest Director at Plymouth State University while I was a student there. Caroline invited me to perform in As You Like It in the summer of 2007 and I fell in love with the town and the company. I returned many times as a teaching artist, stage manager, and performer and finally moved to Sandwich in the fall of 2019.
What got you started in this job?
I earned my degree in Performing Arts Management from Brooklyn College in hopes that I would be able to return to Sandwich someday and help the company that had meant so much to me thrive. I have always loved teaching, and working with ATTP has allowed me to share my love of teaching and theatre with this truly unique community.
Tell us about your organization.
Advice To The Players creates live theatre productions, Shakespeare based educational programs, and a myriad of other literary and performing arts opportunities for local teens, amateurs, and professional artists. We produce Shakespeare outdoors in the summer, working with area schools, performance venues and retirement communities—and even host an annual holiday production of Twelfth Night. We offer camps, workshops, and personalized mentorship opportunities for teens and early career theatre artists.
How did your organization get started?
Caroline Nesbitt founded Advice To The Players in 1999 after training with Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA. ATTP originally produced performances with Community School students and professional actors at The Barnstormers Theater in Tamworth.
What is the most fun/satisfying aspect of your job?
The best part of my job is seeing teens and young adults who have worked with ATTP grow up and discover how they'd like to engage with the world. There are many adults who now perform with the company or work as Teaching Artists who were students of mine in ATTP's camps or at Plymouth—and there are many others who do not continue in theatre but are making remarkable contributions to our world.
What is the hardest?
The most difficult aspect of my job is the hard decisions I need to make when income for a program falls short, or unexpected expenses arise. There is a level of personal sacrifice involved with running a small nonprofit that can be challenging—thankfully the boundless joy involved outweighs this almost every time.
What has happened to your organization in this last Covid year?
We saw tremendous support from the community, which allowed us to survive, despite losing over 80% or our anticipated earned revenue. We created theatre in new and innovative ways and were able to safely provide a full season. While we were able to provide lots of opportunities to local artists, many of the professional artists and emerging artists we hire rely on lodging in the community in order to come here, which was not possible last year because of Covid, so there were many artists who could not work with us due to these circumstances.
How do you see the future of this organization?
I see a future for ATTP where we have a much stronger and more involved connection to the area schools along with further developing many of our budding partnerships with other local institutions.
What else can you tell us about yourself and your business?
Since we could not safely have an audience for our March production this year or tour in person to area schools--we created a unique filmed performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream in the beautiful Partridge Hill Farm Barn in Sandwich (a thousand thanks to the Hird family for generously offering their beautiful venue). This production will be available to all virtually from April 23-May 2 only. We hope you will enjoy this one of a kind offering featuring local talent and quite a bit of magic. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the link!
Advice To The Players
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Meet Our Members
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