DERRY — A longtime community theater group plans to close the curtain on its 27-year stage run.

Music and Drama Company, known as MADCo, will call it quits after years of producing dramas, musicals and children's theater on area stages.

The organization's board of directors voted to end MADCo's run, citing the lack of community support and ticket sales.

"We're not quite closed yet, but we will be dissolving," said Rosemary Dann, MADCo board member and longtime supporter.

She said the group struggled to get people in the seats at shows, and also struggled to bring in new board members and volunteers to help behind the scenes and on stage. She said it amounted to about six people doing most of the work.

"No one was coming to see the shows," Dann said. "We tried and tried to get people onto the board."

A small group of performers decided to start a new theater company in 1982 to put more performances back on local stages.

The first fully staged production was "House of Blue Leaves," followed by MADCo's first musical, "Chicago."

In the years since, local actors of all ages participated in MADCo productions, taking on leading roles, behind-the-scenes work, and directorial and producer roles.

Since its beginnings, the group has staged more than 50 shows and entertained audiences all over Southern New Hampshire. The group won numerous honors, including best show, best actor, best director and best original production since the inception of the New Hampshire Theater Awards in 2001.

Last summer, MADCo sought community support for its productions, hosting new member meetings and inviting people to get involved.

Dann said she will miss having a viable community theater group offering quality performances in this area.

But MADCo may live on as the group plans to donate accumulated props and theater items to local nonprofit groups. The group also hopes to donate money to Londonderry High School to support students who love theater and performance.

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