Heartwarming ‘How It Works’ comes to Hatbox

  • From left: Tamara McGonagle, Megan Daniel, Donald Tongue, and Alex Picard appear in the truepenny arts production of "How It Works." Courtesy of Jane Button

  • Tamara McGonagle, Megan Daniel, Alex Picard and Donald Tongue in rehearsal for “How It Works.” Courtesy of George Kelly

Monitor staff
Published: 1/30/2020 9:38:43 AM

A veteran cast of performers will perform How It Works in its New Hampshire debut over the next three weekends at the Hatbox Theatre. 

How It Works by Candanian playwright Daniel MacIvor is an examination of family dynamics dealing with the timely topics of teen drug and sexual abuse. It is about how we can begin to heal from those hurtful experiences that hold us back by telling the stories behind them to others.

MacIvor, a native of Nova Scotia,  is also an actor and director, in addition to his playwrighting credits. He is a recipient of Canada’s prestigious Governor’s General Award and Siminovitch Prize.  How It Works represents MacIvor’s step from a career as a virtuosic solo performer/writer to one as a humanist playwright.

The play introduces four characters: Al, a Halifax cop; his ex-wife, Donna; his new partner, Christine; and his troubled daughter, Brooke. 

The show weaves together the four’s lives from Al and Christine’s first date all the way back to Al’s first date with Donna.

Nineteen-year-old Brooke lives sometimes with her father, sometimes with her mother and sometimes disappears. Her parents don’t understand everything, but Christine sees through the veneer she hides behind. 

Truepenny art’s educational and artistic director, Michael Cobb, takes the helm as producer and director of How It Works. He has trained, performed, and coached in multiple Tony-winning theaters and graduate and undergraduate conservatory-style programs.

The cast under his leadership features veterans of New Hampshire stages including Alex Picard (an associate professor of theatre at New England College), Don Tongue (executive director of New World Theatre), Tamara McGonagle (Winnipesaukee Playhouse, Hatbox) and Megan Daniel (TIGER).

The Hatbox Show is being produced by truepenny arts, whose mission is to enhance life in the state by furthering the art, craft and appreciation of theatre through training and performance of true and genuine currency.

Performances will run Friday through Feb. 16 with showtimes Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults; $15 for members, seniors and students; and $12 for senior members. Reservations can be made online at hatboxnh.com or by calling 715-2315.

Due to the sensitive nature of the topics, the play is recommended for teens and adults.

Audience talkbacks, led by representatives from Riverbend Community Mental Health, which has also generously supplied research assistance for the show, will take place following the Feb. 2 and 9 shows.


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