New Hampshire's 10 Best Live Theater Venues!

Since the 6th century BC, theater has been an important part of human culture, summoning all the emotions man is capable of. From lively Broadway musicals to dramatic works that make you think, from classic venues to incredible summer stock, the theaters of New Hampshire rival the world’s finest, while holding fast to community spirit and local involvement. Tour our top 10 for a theatrical treat you won’t soon forget!

1. The Music Hall, Portsmouth, NH

Constructed in 1878, this Victorian-style theater is one of the best places in all of New England to enjoy live theater. A nonprofit that draws performers from across the city, state, and country, this Portsmouth gem is a great place to enjoy not only plays but musicals, comedy, lectures, and more.

2. New London Barn Playhouse, New London, NH

For more than 80 years, the New London Barn Playhouse has delivered quality, community based theater to locals and visitors alike. With the distinction of being New Hampshire’s oldest continually operating summer stock theater, as well as a spot on the National Register of Historic places, make this a must-visit in the Granite State. 

3. Claremont Opera House, Claremont, NH

The Claremont Opera House has a long and storied history, beginning with its construction in 1897, and punctuated with multiple threats of closure. Today, this historic venue hosts plays, music performances, dance recitals, and an incredibly robust roster of children’s theater. 

4. Seacoast Repertory Theatre, Portsmouth, NH

Whether you’re looking for a roadway mainstay or a modern masterpiece, the Seacoast Repertory Theatre is sure to delight. Also look into their “Red Light Series,” which pushes the boundaries of theatre by mixing dance, music, spoken word, burlesque, and more. 

5. The Barnstormers Theatre, Tamworth, NH

Another prime example of excellent summer stock, the Barnstormers Theatre has been providing world class entertainment for 86 seasons and counting. After several years as a traveling theater, Barnstormers settled in gorgeous Tamworth and hasn’t looked back. Whether you like musicals or prefer a mystery, this summer spot has a full summer schedule sure to delight. 

6. Palace Theatre, Manchester, NH

Truly a hub of the Manchester cultural scene, the Palace Theatre offers not only theater but live music and comedy, as well as performances by some of the region’s most talented youth troupes and ballets. Visit to support local artists and discover new rising stars!

7. Actors’ Circle Theatre, Peterborough, NH

One of the best places to scout local talent, Actors’ Circle Theatre has been producing top notch theater since the 1980s. Outstanding plays and musicals, with annual pilgrimages just down the street to Depot Square Park for summer Shakespeare. 

8. Capitol Center for the Arts, Concord, NH

Once a top stop on the national Vaudeville scene, the Capitol Center stands today as a testament to New Hampshirites’ devotion to the Arts. With over 1,300 seats and a schedule chock full of world class theater, comedy, magic, lectures, and more, this is a must visit in Concord. 

9. The Winnipesaukee Playhouse, Meredith, NH

If you find yourself in the lakes region, a trip to the Winnipesaukee Playhouse should be at the top of your own list. Hosting both community and professional performances, this gem of a theater finds itself among New Hampshire’s most awarded year after year.

10. Community Players of Concord, Concord, NH

Since 1927, Community Players of Concord has brought the city and local arts community together for incredible productions. From dramas to children’s theater, there is no better place to see great theater and support your talented neighbors than Community Players. 

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