New England College to Receive $3 Million Gift
New England College will receive $3 million from Tom and Barbara Putnam, the Putnam family, and the Putnam Foundation to name the College’s future state-of-the-art theatre. The Rosamond Page Putnam Center for the Performing Arts will establish a permanent legacy, celebrating Mrs. Putnam’s lifelong commitment to the theatre and the arts.
Tom Putnam said, “My mother loved the theatre, and the Putnam family is honored to support the creation of the new performing arts center at New England College that will carry her name. We hope this new theatre will bring a higher level of cultural enrichment to the students and benefit everyone at the College, as well as all of the people of south west New Hampshire.”
To date, the Putnam’s leadership gift is among the largest gifts to the College’s “Bridge to the Future” campaign, which is in its quiet phase. The gift will support the construction of a two-story, 350-seat thrust stage theatre, which will be located on the campus’s south district. As a new, innovative performing arts venue for the region, the building’s design will accommodate a variety of programming such as dramatic productions, dance and musical performances, political forums and debates, professional lectures, and summer arts programs for K-12 students. As with many of the College’s facilities, the theatre will be shared with the community. Construction will dovetail with the building of New England College’s newest academic building, the John Lyons Center, which is scheduled to break ground this coming spring.
“We are thrilled to construct a world class theatre that honors Rosamond Page Putnam,” said New England College President, Michele Perkins. “Generations of engaged students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members will benefit from such generosity and, as a strong and healthy college, we are poised to grow and leverage unique opportunities. New England College will forever be grateful to the Putnam family and the Putnam Foundation.”
For over 60 years the Putnam family has supported the College with scholarships and endowment funds. The family hopes that this gift will inspire others to get involved with New England College to strengthen its unique programs and provide the funds necessary to cross the bridge to a bright new future.
New England College’s Theatre Program:
- Has sent more students to the Actors Studio MFA Program than any other college or university in the country.
- Graduates have also studied at North Carolina School of the Arts, University of San Diego, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Colorado, University of Georgia, California Institute of the Arts, Southern Illinois University, and Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.
- Over 75 students each year participate in theatre productions. New England College offers 10 theatrical performances in which students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends participate on an annual basis.
- There are dozens of successful New England College theatre students in the arts and entertainment world, including Oscar award-winning actress Geena Davis, five-time Emmy award-winning cinematographer Jay Kulick, and Emmy award-winning producer Cris Graves.
- NEC trained technicians and stage managers have worked on Broadway and with such prestigious companies as The Alvin Ailey American Dance Company, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and the Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia.
- New England College also is home to The Open Door Theatre, a small professional theatre company which just celebrated its 11th year of staging classic plays made relevant and accessible for 21st century audiences.
“New England College has a rich tradition of excellence in both the training of young theatre artists and in the creation of unique and provocative theatre. We are thrilled to be moving into a brand new home, and offering our students and patrons new and even more exceptional theatre experiences,” said Glenn Stuart, Professor of Theatre and Director of New England College’s Open Door Theatre company. Recent public productions performed at the College’s intimate 82-seat Mainstage Theatre have included William Shakespeare’s King Lear, Twelfth Night, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream; David Ives’ All in the Timing; and Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. Performances of creative movement and dance have also been offered to the public.
The Putnam Foundation is a private charitable foundation whose mission is to provide grants on a regional basis in New Hampshire and, in particular, the Monadnock Region, for projects in the areas of the arts, historic preservation, and cultural and environmental enrichment.