Writers on a New England Stage Turns 15!

I don’t know about you, but lately, I’m not even sure what day it is, let alone what year it is. What I do know is that the Writers on a New England Stage (WNES) has hit another milestone! We are celebrating Writers on a New England Stage’s 15th season!

Let me take you back…Twelve years ago, I sat up in the balcony of the Historic Theater, nestled in with my teacher and classmates, a motley crew of aspiring writers and creatives. As a high school senior, I was excited about a field trip, a moment outside of the classroom. But my experience that night has stuck with me ever since. 

We were there for bestselling author and National Book Award winner Louise Erdrich as she presented The Plague of Doves. Between Louise’s powerful reading and her on-stage interview with NHPR’s Laura Knoy, my mind was blown. My class went backstage to have her sign our books (and in one case, my classmate’s motorcycle helmet) and to talk about writing. The opportunity my class was given left us starstruck and inspired, but little did I know that was my future. 

Fast forward to today, and I’m on the other side of the curtain, watching incredible authors take the stage from my post in the wings. I’ve had the pleasure of hosting Pulitzer Prize winners, thought leaders, scientists, podcasters, and literary giants. Students of all ages still get to meet the author as I once did (although now virtually).

The team behind the scenes hasn’t changed too much either. New Hampshire Public Radio has been the most incredible partner in all things Writers on a New England Stage, from their thorough research to marketing prowess, to the on-stage interviews that move with grace and poise. I couldn’t imagine a better partner for this series and I am so thankful for the work we do together. And our friends in Dreadnaught still rock the stage, delivering the best setlist for every author. It’s not uncommon for a New York Times bestseller to turn to me after every. single. song. to say “That’s the perfect fit for this book!” 

Writers on a New England Stage wouldn’t be what it is today without the endless work from my predecessors, Patricia Lynch and Margaret Talcott. They created the magical evening I witnessed twelve years ago, and I will forever be thankful for everything I learned from them. 

I guess some things have changed…We moved the series to a virtual platform (for now) and we already had the pleasure of hosting author Sue Miller on this new format. Tomorrow evening, Susan Eisenhower will “take the stage” to talk about her grandfather, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and his leadership style. I hope you will join me in watching what will certainly be a poignant conversation with Peter Biello of NHPR. And do keep an eye out for new shows; we’re just as busy as ever!