Franklin Community Theatre Production of ‘Nunsense’ Part of NH’s Vibrant Arts Scene

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Paula Tracy photo

Actor Lisa Lovett as Mother Superior in Franklin Footlight Theatre's "Nunsense" gets a hug from Steve Rand of Plymouth after the performance Thursday on the Franklin Middle School stage.


FRANKLIN – Community theater is alive and well in the city of Franklin where this weekend, residents and guests are being treated to a production of “Nunsense,” a musical comedy by Dan Goggin performed by members of the regional community.

Franklin Footlight Theatre is presenting the production through Sunday and Thursday was opening night at the Franklin Middle School Stage with the audience treated to the comedy, choreography, and live music directed by David Bedard.

The state has a rich patchwork of local community theater operations numbering more than 36 which have withstood the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic. And with the help and support of others, they are looking toward this summer with plays and performances that not only enrich the lives of residents but also help in tourism promotion and activities for visitors to the state.

From large and well-endowed operations with historic venues to simple community volunteer operations that use community facilities, theater is part of the fabric of the state.

For over 28 years, Franklin Footlight Theatre has been producing community productions and until its recent closure was using the Franklin Opera House as its venue.

“Footlight has gone back to its roots in trying to bring theater to the City of Franklin through creative planning,” wrote Bedard in the program. “This production of ‘Nunsense’ is a reprisal of the very first show Footlight ever did back in 1995 (and performed again in 1998, both times at the Franklin High School Gym). What better show to perform in a school than a show set in a school.”

Goggin’s play, which has been performed the world over is set in a school gym when the Little Sisters of Hoboken’s cook Sister Julia (Child of God) accidentally poisons fifty-two members of the convent with a bad soup, vichyssoise, made with leeks and potatoes.

The remaining sisters must raise funds for the burials by putting on a variety show.

The production includes lots of singing, dance, puppetry, and audience quizzes and participation.

“This is guaranteed to be a night of holy and hilarious hijinks,” the promotion material reads.

The performances are April 11-13 at 7:30 p.m. and a matinee April 14 at 2:00 p.m. at the Franklin Middle School at 200 Sanborn Street, Franklin.

Attending the performance on the eve of their ninth trip to the war-torn country of Ukraine were Alex Ray, himself an actor, partner Lisa Mure and Steve Rand, also a community actor and Susan Mathison.

In addition to having played in Education Theater Collaborative Productions in Plymouth over the years, the team of four have helped raised over $3.5 million for the orphaned children and other victims of the war in Ukraine through and are also strong supporters of the arts in New Hampshire.

Rand was among the first to congratulate Lisa Lovett, who played Sister Mary Regina, Mother Superior for her performance along with the four other “sisters” played by Jule C. Finley, Melissa Furbish, Jennifer Schaffner and Olivia Martinson.

The group has been practicing for most of the winter months with music under the direction of Christine Chaisson, choreography by Hayley de Sousa, Addison Granger and Cameron Moquin and stage managed by Bonnie Gilbert and Mark Bitetto.

The creative team also includes Technical Direction by Cody Virgin and Robbie LaFlamme, props by Sue Bitetto, lighting design by Dan Darling and sound design by Wayne Fajans.

The next production of Franklin Footlight Theatre is Monty Python’s SPAMALOT with auditions May 14 and 16 at Franklin High School with performance dates August 1-4.

The theatre group also supports Franklin High School Players spring production of MEAN GIRLS: High School Edition May 3-5.

For tickets to the production and information visit or call (603) 934-1901.

Separately, New Hampshire Theater Alliance has about 32 group members planning their summer and fall theater productions in communities that include Peterborough, Nashua, Center Sandwich, Amherst, Claremont, Bedford, Colebrook, Concord, Lancaster, Wilton, Manchester, Milford, Lincoln, Conway, Rollinsford, New London, Upper Valley, Londonderry, Exeter, and Meredith, among other locations.

Also out there working on a number of shows are Theater Up in Littleton, Epping Community Theater and the New Hampshire Theatre Project in Portsmouth.

Most are volunteers who would love you to participate, attend, donate and enjoy the talent of New Hampshire’s community theaters.

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