Whether behind the scenes or at center stage as the leading man, William Lombard ’17 is no stranger to the theatre.
Fresh off his acclaimed work as assistant director for the UNH Celebrate 150 production of “Seven Boxes of Books,” a piece directed by Aimee Blessing that brought together the theatre and dance department and Mask and Dagger, UNH’s student-run dramatic society, Lombard is gearing up for graduation and a busy summer of professional performances ahead.
“I am very excited to be appearing in three musicals at Hackmatack Playhouse in Berwick, Maine,” Lombard says.
Hackmatack has been a popular venue for other Wildcats, including Brianne Kennedy ’15, who performed in multiple shows at the popular Maine venue prior to being cast in the national tour of “Annie.”
“I will be playing Arpad in ‘She Loves Me,’ Hippockets in ‘Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story’ and Matt in ‘The Fantasticks.’ I will start rehearsals in late May, and rehearsals and shows will run until the first week of September,” he explains.
And that, for Lombard, is just the beginning.
“After this summer, I plan on returning home to Peabody, Massachusetts, to work as an actor in the Greater Boston area.”
His years at UNH, he says, have been instrumental in shaping that path.
“As a musical theatre major, I have been active in the main stage performances — both on stage and off stage. I have had the privileges of performing, stage-managing and assistant directing productions here,” Lombard explains. “I have also appeared in two musicals with Mask and Dagger: ‘Carrie’ and ‘Assassins,’ as well as directing this fall's ‘Miscast Cabaret.’ Having been able to work on so many different productions in different capacities has been a great educational experience.”
UNH’s department of theatre and dance has a mission of preparing students “to be as successful as possible in the professional world as theatre artists,” Lombard says, noting theatre and dance students have opportunities to experience many elements of the theatre world. “I'm very grateful for all the opportunities I have been exposed to in my four years in this program.”
When asked if he has a favorite memory, Lombard reminisced about a unique experience from his UNH years: touring with professional children's theatre troupe The Little Red Wagon.
“Last year, four other actors and I toured in four different states, from Long Island, New York, to Colebrook, New Hampshire, performing more than 60 shows for children all across New England,” he recalls. “Having the chance to travel all across the area, performing for so many different children, was a very special experience that I am very grateful I was able to experience. Little Red Wagon is also the longest continually running not-for-profit touring children's theatre in the country, so being able to be a part of this group was a great honor.”
With the stage now set for commencement, Lombard is grateful for the individuals, experiences and education that have prepared him for the next act.
“I cannot imagine spending my four years as an undergrad at a place any better than the University of New Hampshire,” he says. “Being a part of this great community — and having the chance to study what I love with amazing professors and meeting the friends and colleagues I will cherish for the rest of my life — is something I am forever going to be thankful for.”