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The American Magic Lantern Theater Returns to 2011 Living History Event

Hillsborough, NH- Fort Sumter was fired upon on April 12, 1861 to herald the start of the Civil War 150 years ago. At the third annual Hillsborough Living History Event on August 20th and 21st, the American Magic Lantern Show will bring the Civil War to life just as it would have for audiences at the time. Called “A Living National Treasure” by National Public Radio, this wonderful show combines original hand painted glass plate visuals with audience participation and authentic music, which is brought to life by Terry Borton and his accompanist Nancy Stewart. This show is included in the price of admission, one ticket at one low price for two wonderful days of entertainment. Five performance times are offered in historic Hillsborough Center at the Center Club: Saturday at noon, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday at noon and 3:15 p.m.

The Director and showman is Terry Borton, a fourth generation lanternist, who grew up watching lantern shows. Performing in a top hat and frock coat just as a 19th century showman would appear, he also writes and directs the shows, operates the lantern, provides a short historical introduction, in character, and gives dramatic narration, often creating as many as 20 different characters in a performance. For 15 years, Borton was Editor in Chief of the Weekly Reader, the nation's largest children's newspaper. Borton is currently working on a book about the magic lantern and lantern artist, Joseph Boggs Beale (Cinema before Film).

Appearing with Borton will be a classically trained singer and musician who provides musical accompaniment for stories, sings solos and leads sing-alongs. Appearing in Victorian costume, the show accompanist is soprano, Nancy Stewart. Stewart is equally at home in opera, operetta, musical theater, oratorio and recital. She performs regularly with the greater Hartford Opera Ensemble.

Visit historic Hillsborough on August 20th and 21st for a delightful, interactive living history experience depicting the unique history of the New England area. Venture on a fantastic trip throughout Hillsborough and discover the historic villages, museums, President Franklin Pierce's Homestead, historic buildings, scenic drives and stone arch bridges. This is where history comes alive! Interact with period artisans, musicians, re-enactors, historical figures, dancers, artisans and more. Sample mouth-watering, traditional foods. Ride a trolley! Experience the life of a New Englander in the 1700s, the 1800s and early 1900s.

Tickets for adults are $10, seniors (65 and up) are $8, children (6-17) are $5 and children five and under are free. There will be special event privileges for those dressed in period costume.

The town was just chosen as New Hampshire Magazine’s Best of New Hampshire 2011 Historic Community on the Rise.

For more information visit or please contact Trim Hahn at or Babette Haley at (603) 464-5858. For an interview please contact Terry Borton, the American Magic Lantern Theater, in advance at 1-860-345-2574.