Pontine Theatre is a small miracle.  This theatre has used puppets, mime and stagecraft to convey visions of the past to modern audiences for more than 35 years. Artistic Directors, Marguerite Mathews and Greg Gathers, conspire to fascinate the contemporary mind with original works based on the stories and literature of New England.  There’s really nothing else like it anywhere.”  
                                                               —New Hampshire Magazine

This season, Pontine Theatre’s touring programs are available online through a video conferencing platform. Presentations include a live steam of performance video mixed with live commentary by the co-artistic directors and a Q&A with viewers. To bring Pontine to your community, contact us at

Pontine’s touring programs are supported by the Jack & Dorothy Byrne Foundation, The Mary Louise Billings Trust/Citizens Bank, the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts.




This year’s edition of “A New England Christmas” features an original adaptation of Sarah Orne Jewett’s short story “A White Heron.” In the mid-1880s, after the Atlantic Monthly turned down her newest story,  Sarah Orne Jewett wrote to her friend and companion Annie Fields, “What shall I do with my ‘White Heron’ now she is written? She isn’t a very good magazine story, but I love her, and I mean to keep her for the beginning of my next book.”  Jewett kept her word and used it as the title story of her next book.  Readers were universally delighted, and nearly every reviewer singled out “A White Heron” for praise. One critic exclaimed that the story “is a tiny classic. One little episode of child-life, among birds and woods makes it up; and the secret soul of a child, the appeal of the bird to its instinctive honor and tenderness, never were interpreted with more beauty and insight.” Recently “A White Heron” has found new life as feminist scholars have reconsidered the story’s themes.  It mimics and then subverts the old-fashioned fairy tale, in which the arrival of a princely figure challenges a young girl to reassess her place in the world.  All of which explains why this rejected magazine submission remains Jewett’s most celebrated story.



Pontine Theatre brings George Savary Wasson’s early 20th century novel, The Green Shay (1905) to the stage. Although Wasson’s books have long been out of print, they have been described as “the most authentic Maine stories ever written,” and George Wasson (a resident of Kittery, Maine) has been ranked with Sarah Orne Jewett as a master of the New England idiom.

The story follows the tragic drowning of two brothers, Abram and Elmer Spurling, whose Green Shay (a small sailing vessel) is destroyed one stormy day.  Suspicion falls on young Asa Kentle, and the residents of the harbor are thrown into conflict as they endeavor to solve the mysterious disaster. Pontine’s original adaptation creates a lively stage production featuring traditional folk melodies and a full cast of toy theatre figures who represent the books’ major characters.

Green Shay

© Pontine Theatre  2021