The New London Barn Playhouse is the oldest, continuously operating Summer Stock theater in New Hampshire, a distinction which has gained it inclusion in the state's Register of Historic Places.
In the summer of 1933, Mrs. Josephine Etter Holmes, Chair of the Department of Speech at Mount Holyoke College, came to New London with four female students and, with the assistance of colleagues at Colby Junior College and male actors drawn from the community, established the New London Players of New Hampshire. A disciple of the Little Theater Movement then sweeping the country, Mrs. Holmes aimed "to establish...a theater group presenting dramas of stimulating artistic & literary merit" and began pursuit of this high minded goal on July 11th at a sold out Whipple Memorial Hall. Three one act plays were presented that night. Tickets were 50 cents; pillows a nickel. Props, costumes and ushers were provided by the local citizenry. According to the New London News the show "aroused great enthusiasm...and set a new gauge for dramatic art in the region".