Humphreys leaving PPMtv this spring

PPMtv's Executive Director Bill Humphreys will leave his position in April – but not retire. "No, not retiring. I don't know how," Humphreys says laughing. "It's not a word I know. If I retire, I'd shrivel up and die."

Humphreys, who has acted locally and nationally on stage and film for 60 years ("since I was 7"), as well as directed and produced, has been PPMtv's executive director since it opened in 2011. As for leaving now, it just feels like the right time, he says.

"I'm looking to make space for myself to continue things that are meaningful and important. In the big picture, I'm a storyteller. As an actor, as a director, and as a producer, I'm a storyteller," he says. "I'm looking to get back on stage in a more full-time basis."

Humphreys has some film and TV projects he's been mulling for some time, "but I haven't had the time or space to do anything about it."

There have been, and are still, offers for projects. But again, there's no time to weigh anything properly, so he won't commit.

The time at the station was enjoyable, an interesting challenge - something to build, Humphreys says. He's produced specials, worked others' projects, and done lots of editing and directing. There's also been the basic administrative side, building handicap ramps, and replacing 100-year-old windows.

"It's not what I went to school for, or my passion," he says. "... I have learned so much about the care and maintenance of a 165-year-old historic building, more than I ever thought I would know, or want to know. But at this point in my life, I’d rather put that knowledge to work as background to characters that I create rather than as an advocation. ... It's time to satisfy what I do from the creative aspect, not the administrative."

PPMtv has posted a regional call for executive director applications through January. Interviews will be set for February, with hopes to fill the position for April.

Too apply, send Word or PDF format documents as attachments to Bill.Humphreys@ppmtvnh.org, with “Executive Director Job Application” in the subject line.

"I've agreed to stay on and help get someone up to speed," he says. "Then it's about getting back to doing what I wanted to do 'when I grew up.'"

Wrong Brain makes a move

Wrong Brain, the non-profit art collective, has new digs – but remains in Dover.

WB vacated its Washington Mills home-base in September. It continued with off-site events, such as the Holidaze Bizaare. Meanwhile members Assistant Director Ari Manakos (newly appointed); Gallery Director Shawn Perry (and board member), and Special Events Coordinator Lauri Todd) took time to discuss direction and check out options, which meant when the new building at 66 Third St. presented itself, they were ready.

The new location will be divided into three sections, Founding Director Sam Paolini says. There will be a community space with a gallery, and another with seven private studios. The third is Paolini's domain. It will house The Sam Pal Shop, a new retail store, "and my own textile cave."

Some may be surprised Paolini is settling back in to both Wrong Brain and the community. Things were very different only a year ago.

"I was a little lost. I wanted to leave, got depressed, quit art and Wrong Brain," Paolini says. "I don't know what changed. I think it just took a break."

This summer Paolini returned to painting murals and working with Arts in Reach. "I guess it reminded me that I love doing it," Paolini says.

After the "sabbatical," WB's committee "welcomed me graciously," Paolini says, "though they did the work to get this (new location) going."

The Sam Pal Shop will feature Paolini's work along with the curated guest artists. The store will offer regular hours, a departure from former locations. "I'm going to focus on my business, with retail, and a fully functional textile studio as well."

There are still a few studio spaces available (10 feet by 13 feet at $150 monthly). Application info can be found on Wrong Brain's Facebook page and at http://wrongbrain.net. Interested parties need to contribute to the WB community.

The new headquarters will continue to offer all the workshops, concerts, etc. that the original did. Its grand opening is set for March 16.

Threshold to present 2 plays

Threshold Stage Company has planned two plays for its upcoming season. Both feature small casts: the first, a two-woman show; the second, a three-man production, Threshold Stage Company Co-Artistic Director Heather Glenn Wixson says.

First up,"The Roommate" in April.

"We're excited because we got the rights to 'The Roommate,' by Jen Silverman. This is a play that did incredibly well at the Huma Festival in 2015, where it debuted," she says. "It's a great piece for two women in their mid-fifties. It's full of surprises and mystery, and it's dangerous. It never goes where you expect it will go. It's a ground-breaking play."

"Roommate" will star Glenn Wixson and Kristin Curtis in her first performance since appearing with Threshold in 2016.

"We're also bringing back the play director for 'Clean House,' director A. Nora Long," Glenn Wixson says. "We have a team of three designers from Boston and two from up here. We've had three production meetings so far, and it's really exciting. Rehearsal begins at the end of February."

To "balance" the two-woman play, TSC will present Mamet's "American Buffalo" in late September.

"This play came out in the later '70s. It was shocking at the time. Peter (Motson, Co-Artistic Director) and I took a look at it, and it just really holds up. It's just an absolutely brilliant play," Glenn Wixson says. "I'm directing because I have a specialization with Mamet. I trained with him, and had a long time working with him."

Cast includes Motson, Allan Mayo and Griffinn Gower.

The stakes are high in both plays, both as written and as line-up productions. They don't come with large casts or blockbuster names that ensure strong houses.

"These will ... rely on word of mouth – both plays," she says. "They're both small-cast plays, so people will come to them only if they hear it's good."

'Hedwig' extended at the Rep

After acknowledging a lengthy list of staff involved, Mad Men of Oopsy Daisy Co-Founder Brandon James announces the collective has decided "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" must go on. And so it will.

"As of now we've ... all decided to cancel 'Schoolhouse Rock' and keep running 'Hedwig' (Jan. 24 to 26) ... We'll call tomorrow for licensing. ... So, we do need to verify that," James says days before they got the OK. "But assuming they say yes, we're extending 'Hedwig' and taking it on a mini-tour. We're also excited to explore doing it in unconventional spaces."

The team will look at empty buildings such as "Toys R Us, and all the malls with empty retail spaces. There's still a few vacant mill locations," and they'll consider open space.

"We could take 'Hedwig' and convert it as a pop-up for a night or weekend. We're exploring ideas right now," James says. "We believe in it and enjoy it. We're not ready to let it end. People have been totally enthralled with it. So, 'Hedwig' is not done yet. She has a little more fight left in her."

More info at http://www.seacoastrep.org.

Jeanné McCartin keeps her eyes and ears open for Seacoast gossip. She can be reached at maskmakernh@gmail.com.