Artists’ Collaborative Theatre Of New England (ACT ONE) is a New Hampshire nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)3 arts and education organization established in 1997 to present, promote, and produce the fine arts, with special emphasis on professional theatre production.


ACT ONE is committed to developing programs that build community. Today more than ever, it is essential to draw friends and neighbors out of insular living rooms, away from televisions and electronic devices, to join together in a shared experience of the arts and humanities.  

The exploration of ideas and emotions that live theatre makes possible is vital to the health of society, prompting dialogue and discovery at many levels.  By producing quality theatre and educational outreach programming, ACT ONE seeks to enliven hearts, minds, and spirits and strengthen the bonds of community.


Since 2007 ACT ONE has presented an annual Festival of theatre and concerts running from August through October at the West End Studio Theatre (WEST) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. ACT ONE’s Festivals include Mainstage theatre productions, original works by area performance artists and writers, and concerts by regional musicians.

2016 marks ACT ONE’s 10th year of Festivals at WEST.  SUMMER FESTIVAL will take place from August 4 through September 3, and BEYOND FESTIVAL will run from September 23 through October 16.


In 2010 ACT ONE began presenting special theatre events in June at the WEST. These June performances have provided ACT ONE the opportunity to reconnect with our loyal patrons after our winter hiatus and to generate interest in the upcoming Festival productions.  June Events have included a celebration of our region’s rich cultural history with Celia Thaxter & the Isles of Shoals and performances of A.R. Gurney’s plays-meant-to-be-read, Love Letters and Ancestral Voices.

The June Events have also allowed us to focus on critical social issues. In June 2012 we presented Joanna Rush’s stunning one-woman production, Asking For It, which deals with the healing and reclaiming of one’s sense of self after sexual assault. And in June 2013 ACT ONE mounted the first fully staged production of Kate Wenner’s Make Sure It’s Me, a powerful play about traumatic brain injury in American service members.

June 17-19 2016 ACT ONE invites you to join us for our special 10th anniversary celebration – three showings of Peter E. Randall’s beautiful film, Celia Thaxter’s Island Garden.


Since 1997 ACT ONE has offered programming that focuses on the rich cultural history of the Isles of Shoals and the remarkable life of Celia Laighton Thaxter.  If your group, school, library, church or other organization is interested in learning more about these programs, please contact Stephanie Nugent at 603.300.2986.