Plains School Project

Pontine Theatre has joined the City of Portsmouth in an exciting public/private partnership to transform the Plains Schoolhouse at One Plains Avenue into the city’s newest arts space. The charming 1845 one-room schoolhouse, a hidden gem among city-owned historic properties, is  being transformed into a studio for the company and a vibrant resource for the community. We envision this new space as: 

  • a laboratory for theatrical innovation and the creation of new works presented to both local and regional audiences.
  • a micro-performance space for salon-style stagings of Pontine’s signature chamber-theatre works.
  • an intimate meeting space for classes, lectures, readings and community events that will serve as a lasting cultural center for Seacoast residents.

Pontine Theatre has signed a ten-year lease with the City of Portsmouth and has completed Phase One of a capital campaign for the project. Renovations are currently underway; we look forward to completing our 40th season at the Plains School next winter.

Schoolhouse Drawing


14 September -19 October

Pontine Theatre invites community members to participate in their  HISTORY OF THE PORTSMOUTH PLAINS Community Arts Project. The program includes a series of six workshops held from 5:30 to 7pm on Thursdays beginning 14 September and ending 19 October.  Workshops will focus on different aspects of this lively neighborhood.  Of special interest is the history of the 1845 Plains School, the only remaining one-room schoolhouse still owned by the city of Portsmouth.  Pontine Theatre, in collaboration with the city, is in the process of transforming the Plains School into a center for cultural and arts activities.  

The Plains school operated through 1942 and there may well be former students of the school (or other Portsmouth schools) who will join us to inform us about their experiences.  The group will also look at the various versions of the Indian Massacre on the Plains which took place in 1696.  The Plains neighborhood also has a rich history full of taverns and travelers which we look forward to exploring.  

This project is free and open to the public (no experience or expertise required), thanks to a grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Fund’s Piscataqua Region.  Activities will be led by Pontine Theatre Co-Directors, Greg Gathers and Marguerite Mathews.  Interested individuals who would like more information are invited to attend the first session on Thursday 14 September.  Meetings will be held in the School Department’s Conference Room located in Portsmouth City Hall, 1 Junkins Avenue, Portsmouth NH.   Pontine Theatre is a resident company at Portsmouth’s Strawbery Banke Museum — / 603-436-6660 

© Pontine Theatre  2017