These photos are meant only to tempt you. If you are looking for a jaw-dropping, eye-popping experience, head to the Barrette Center for the Arts in White River Junction, the brand new home of Northern Stage. You will want to meet this building face-to-face.
I joined a crowd of the curious this afternoon and found myself unable to stop exclaiming. It is beautiful, the ironwork decor keeping it close to its roots. Its street-level entrance is welcoming to the same degree that the steep old stairs of the Briggs Opera House were daunting. There is a real lobby, two levels of entrances to the Byrne Theater, the Swift Cafe, and the stage just waiting for the inaugural production of Our Town. And as a volunteer was quick to point out, spacious first-floor bathrooms where, unlike in the cramped predecessor, it may be impossible to get hit with the door while waiting.
The new Barrette Center lit up the faces of the Northern Stage personnel, including that of Managing Director Eric Bunge, whose enthusiasm began with the dream and continues with its fruition of "a real space to watch any kind of live production." Others, including several volunteers, talked of the Center's anticipated role in the growing revitalization of White River Junction, a town that increasingly holds its arts dear.
Tickets are on sale (and can be purchased on line) for Our Town, which runs until October 31, and for the other upcoming productions: Mary Poppins, the world premier of Mad Love, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Mountaintop, and Living Together. The box office can be reached at 802-296-7000.