Barnstormers Theatre

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Barnstormers Theatre
AddressTamworth, New Hampshire
United States of America
Opened1931; 90 years ago (1931)

Coordinates: 43°51′35″N 71°15′56″W / 43.85972°N 71.26556°W / 43.85972; -71.26556 The Barnstormers Theatre is located in Tamworth, New Hampshire, and is the oldest ongoing professional summer theatre in the United States.[1] It was founded in 1931 by Francis Cleveland, the son of 22nd president Grover Cleveland. It is one of the only professional theatres in the United States that performs eight shows in eight consecutive weeks every summer.


In 1931 Francis and Alice Cleveland founded the theatre company, along with their friend, Ed Goodnow. During the summer they would lead a company of resident actors around the region, performing different plays each night. In some cases they would literally storm barns, arriving in the afternoon to set up their scenery and lights in time for an evening performance.

After World War II the acting company purchased Kimball's Store on Main Street, across from the Tamworth Inn, and transformed the building into a theatre. Since then the theatre's acting company has kept the rigorous schedule of rehearsing one play by day, and performing another by night, from the end of June to the beginning of September. Francis Cleveland acted as Artistic Director until his death in 1995.

The theatre[edit]

In 1998 The Barnstormers Theatre was renovated and winterized. It now seats 282 patrons, is heated and air conditioned, and hosts touring performances as well as producing summer theatre. Many of The Barnstormers' performances are classic comedies, murder mysteries, and musicals from the British and American stage. In 2006 the Barnstormers celebrated its 75th anniversary.

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