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Hatbox to host launch party for upcoming season

  • An original adaptation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol is currently showing at Hatbox Theatre through Dec. 18. Tim Goodwin

  • Most of the shows for the next season are under tight wraps, but “A Christmas Carol” is among the list that was revealed. Tim Goodwin / Monitor file

Monitor staff
Published: 5/8/2019 4:56:51 PM

Want to know what Hatbox Theatre has planned for its upcoming season?

Head over to the Steeplegate Mall location on Tuesday for their annual launch party, what is appropriately described as a variety show, where audience members will get a little taste of the plays, musicals, original works and monthly series that will grace the Hatbox stage starting in September through August of 2020.

“We’ll have a number of original plays, as well as New Hampshire and world premieres,” Hatbox founder Andrew Pinard said.

At the annual pitch night, there were 48 different groups that “auditioned” for a chance to be included in what will be Hatbox’s fifth season, and of that grouping, 16 were selected for main stage productions. For a number of reasons, some of the original choices had to drop out of the season, but come Tuesday night, the eclectic lineup will be set.

“I’m really excited about the season,” Pinard said. “We always have a variety and this year there will be a huge shift in tones.”

The launch party will go chronologically beginning with the season opener in September, which will be – well, you have to go to the launch party to find out. The schedule of productions is under a cloak of secrecy until Tuesday, when it will all be revealed.

What Pinard could say is that the Hatbox adaptation of A Christmas Carol will return during the holidays and his own one-man show, Discovering Magic, will be held monthly. There will be two musicals, “raucous comedies” and a classic work. There are production companies who have never put on a show at Hatbox before, as well as a very established playwright’s creation. One pitch selected even had plans for a pool – yes, one filled with water – on stage.

“That was part of their pitch, so we’re working out the details to see if we can make that happen,” Pinard said.

Also on the schedule are dramatic plays, improv comedy and music. Each will be given up to five minutes to showcase a glimpse of what their production is about and with any luck, entice the audience to return when they hit the main stage.

“We really try to give the audience a chance to know a character or a hint of the storyline,” Pinard said.

The launch party is free for Hatbox members and $5 for the public. The evening begins at 7 p.m. and is about two hours. There will be a meet and greet afterward.

“You’ll get a real good sense of what the year will feel like,” Pinard said.

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