WHITEFIELD, NH—Just as the future of the New Hampshire primary comes into question, New Hampshire’s Weathervane Theatre will present the world premiere of Primary, a new play by Kelly Strandemo at Weathervane Theatre (389 Lancaster Road, Whitefield, NH 03598) October 11-14, 2023. Primary is sponsored by #ethancoaches.
It’s election season in the Granite State. The dwindling number of residents of a small town are thrilled when a new family moves in, thus ensuring the national attention they receive from their traditional New Hampshire midnight primary can continue. But when the new residents are anything but “traditional,” assumptions of each person’s primary desires are uncovered as they navigate how to pursue life, liberty, and happiness as a community.
Directed by Weathervane Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director, Ethan Paulini, the cast of Primary features Broadway veterans and New Hampshire residents. The cast includes Kimi Handa Brown, Jorge Donoso, Robert H. Fowler, Peter Gair, Marisa Kirby, Ira Kramer, Deborah Osborne, and Rien Schlecht.
Primary features design by Gibbs Murray (set design), Scout Hough (lighting design and production management), Joseph Rivera (sound design), Rien Schlecht (costume design) and Kathryn Sutton (properties design). Additional creative team: Pyper K Williams (scenic charge), Camden Dalie Keech (technical director), Nick Prazniak (master carpenter), Billy Smith (associate director and dramaturg). The production is stage managed by Egypt Dixon and Billy Smith.
Primary was first presented last fall as a staged reading followed by a starry industry reading in NYC led by Tony and Emmy winner Debra Monk. The play marks Weathervane Theatre’s first commission. It is produced in association with Breukelen Stage and Film and Out of the Box Theatrics.
While Primary uses New Hampshire’s traditional voting legacy as a catalyst, the story centers on the changing demographics and personal interplay of small-town life. Strandemo, a South Carolina native who now lives in Brooklyn, says; “If you had told me two years ago that we would be working on the world premiere of Primary at the very time that my home state was being tapped to be the new ‘first,’ I would have said there’s no way that we’d see that confluence of events. I would not have made that up for lack of plausibility. And yet, somehow, we are here. I am admittedly glued to a myriad of news sources and am moment-by-moment writing an increasing number of alternate endings in my head.”
Kelly Strandemo is a Brooklyn-based writer and actor. Her plays have been performed across the country from LA to NYC. Kelly’s adaptation of Aristophanes’ The Congresswomen most recently played the NY Fringe and Weathervane Theatre. Additionally, she served as a head writer on a thirty-episode web series, and her narrative short, Hold, is set to be filmed later this year. As an actor, Kelly has appeared off-Broadway, regionally, and in London where she received her Masters Degree in Classical Acting from LAMDA. Kelly can currently be seen in Sarah Smith and Phillip Guttmann’s film, Cardiff. Kelly is proud to be the recipient of Weathervane Theatre’s first play commission with Primary.
Primary has a preview performance on Wednesday, October 11th and opens October 12th with a limited run through October 14th. Recommended for ages 12+, Primary runs 75 minutes with intermission. In addition to in person tickets, livestream tickets are also available.
Weathervane’s 58th rep season runs now – October 14. Additional productions include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mamma Mia!, and Guys and Dolls. Single tickets available at www.weathervanenh.org. Season 58 tickets start at $19.
The Weathervane Box Office is open on performance days 10AM – 12PM and again 2 hours before performance time through curtain. On days with two Mainstage performances, the box office is open 10AM through the evening curtain. Tickets are available by phone (603-837-9322), in person (389 Lancaster Road, Whitefield, NH), and online.
ABOUT THE WEATHERVANE
The Weathervane Theatre was founded in 1965 by Gibbs Murray and the late Tom Haas and is under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Ethan Paulini. For over half a century, it has presented high quality professional productions of plays and musicals. One of the few remaining alternating rep companies in the United States, the Weathervane is recognized as a historical institution nationwide, boasting among its alumni 2021 Tony nominee Elizabeth Stanley, Tally Sessions, four-time Tony nominee Judy Kuhn and recent Tony Award Winner Ari’el Stachel.
Media Contact: Carrie Greenberg