Sean Hurley

North Country Reporter

Sean Hurley lives in Thornton with his wife Lois and his son Sam.  An award-winning playwright and radio journalist, his fictional “Atoms, Motion & the Void” podcast has aired nationally on NPR and Sirius & XM Satellite radio.  When he isn't writing stories or performing on stage, he likes to run in the White Mountains. He can be reached at shurley@nhpr.org. 

From the Hatbox’s adaptation of a Christmas Carol to a pantomime version of Jack and the Beanstalk at the Winnipesaukee Playhouse to the reasons why, after 83 years, the Peterborough Players are offering their first winter season, NHPR’s Sean Hurley has a holiday theater round-up for the month of December. 

Sean Hurley

There might not be any snow on the ground, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start getting into the holiday spirit.  Premiering tonight at the Hatbox Theater, a new adaptation of Charles Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol”.  NHPR’s Sean Hurley went to a dress rehearsal of the show and is happy to report that Scrooge is alive and well and living in Concord – at least for the next two weeks.  

The past few months in American life have been hard for Sean Hurley to comprehend. The NHPR reporter was struggling to keep up with changes in how we talk to each other, and act toward each other. Some of those shifts have been subtle, others less so. And then earlier this month, one of his favorite songwriters and poets died, Leonard Cohen, and he really felt like he was losing his way. So he grabbed his microphone and went outside….

Sean Hurley

For Thanksgiving this year, the NH Food Bank distributed 19,000 turkeys to food pantries and shelters across the state. 200 of these turkeys went to the Plymouth Food Pantry and NHPR’s Sean Hurley stopped by as they were handed out. 

Meghann Beauchamp

To vote, or not to vote – that is the question in Catherine Stewart’s new play “She Will Lead” at the West End Studio Theatre in Portsmouth.  NHPR’s Sean Hurley attended the show and hoped to find the answer to a second question:  Can a play about the 2016 Presidential Election change minds about the election?   

This month on The Granite Stage, NHPR's Sean Hurley and theater critic Michael Curtiss travel to The Players' Ring in Portsmouth to see the new musical revue, "The Bitter Pill."

Sean also interviews Catherine Stewart about her new play, She Will Lead, which premieres November 4th at the West End Stage in Portsmouth.

Sean Hurley

We recently aired a story about a farm stand in Ashland with a unique amenity – an outhouse that owner Chris Owens had converted into a makeshift voting booth. While the latest polls show an ever tightening Presidential race, NHPR’s Sean Hurley says the results from the outhouse indicate a clear victory for one candidate. 

Chris Owens sits beside an outdoor woodstove at the back of his farm stand.  At his feet, his cat, Sid Vicious and on his lap - a box full of ballots, freshly collected from…his outhouse.

Courtesy of The Bitter Pill

“The Bitter Pill,” a new musical featuring the songs of Billy Butler, is on stage at the Players Ring in Portsmouth through the end of October. NHPR’s Sean Hurley and theater critic Michael Curtiss attended a preview of the show and send us their thoughts.

NOTE:  Please scroll to the bottom for a video preview.   

Sean Hurley

An outhouse by the side of the road has created a little stir in Ashland.  It’s not the outhouses’ proximity to a farm stand – or that through its open door you can see two toilet seats side by side.  As NHPR’s Sean Hurley tells us, it’s what the outhouse is being used for that’s causing all the commotion.

We’re winding along the pumpkins and the freshly picked produce, Chris Owens and I, at his farm stand on Route 175 in Ashland.  I’m not here to buy corn or lettuce.  I’m here to find out about Owens brand new...amenity.

Sean Hurley

November 29, 1964 is known in the Catholic Church as “the day Mass changed.” It didn’t take a day – more like five years - but by 1969 the vernacular “New Mass” had taken hold and the traditional Latin Mass, in place for 400 years, largely became a thing of the past.  But as NHPR’s Sean Hurley reports, the Latin Mass is making something of a comeback here in New Hampshire.

For five years John Brancich fought fires in the Black Hills National Forest of South Dakota.

Sean Hurley

It’s the fourth year of the Squam Ridge Race in Holderness – a 12-mile run over Mount Percival and along the rocky ridge overlooking the Lakes Region.  NHPR’s Sean Hurley ran this year’s race and sends us this audio postcard.

Sean Hurley

First time visitors to the Griddle in the Middle Pancake House in Meredith often come up short at the door.  Some can’t handle it – some turn around and leave. Not NHPR’s Sean Hurley.  He marched inside, sat right down and - after a little work - ate breakfast.

The sign out front doesn’t offer any clues.  It just says Griddle in the Middle.  It looks like a completely normal breakfast place. Until you step inside…”You can see it in the person's face,” owner Kyle Goren says, “They're like "oh what am I getting myself into?"

Sean Hurley

Six years is barely the blink of an eye for the White Mountains, which have defined New Hampshire’s landscape for more than a hundred million years. But to a father, six years can feel like a lifetime - as NHPR’s Sean Hurley discovered while hiking recently with his son.


Monika O'Clair Photography

When Caroline Nesbitt decided to start a theater company in Sandwich in 1999 she was met with a little resistance.  People in town knew her as the woman who raised Connemara Ponies and gave riding lessons.  What they didn’t know was that Nesbitt was also a professional actress. 

Sean Hurley

Take a look at the covers of the dozens and dozens of motorcycle magazines out there - from Cycle World to Dirt Rider – and you’ll see…well, motorcycles…and often enough,  scantily clad women posing beside them.  Take a look at the most recent issue of Manchester’s indie motorcycle magazine Iron & Air – and you won’t see either.  

Sean Hurley

Here's a question: Which New Hampshire community is the best bellwether for the statewide political climate? It's not an old industrial city, or a Seacoast suburb, or a lakeside resort town. It's actually the tiny Coos County village of Shelburne.  

Sean Hurley

Getting into the food delivery business can be tough - especially when you don’t know how to cook.  But as NHPR’s Sean Hurley tells us, Kasia Lojko and Sonia Farris of All Real Meal in Derry say not knowing what they’re doing has been a key to their success.

Sean Hurley

Growing up in Loudon, Andrew Timmins didn’t see his first bear until he was nearly 20.  Now, as Fish & Game’s Bear Project leader, Timmins manages the state’s population of more than 5,500 bears. NHPR’s Sean Hurley recently spent a day with Timmins at a bear hotspot at the Attitash Ski Resort and learned how the state regularly catches troublesome bears and relocates them to the northernmost part of the state.

Sean Hurley

You may have heard of the Rails to Trails program – where old railroad tracks are cleared away and replaced by paths for walking and biking.  In Wolfeboro, as NHPR’s Sean Hurley tells us, the Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club has helped build something unique in the United States – a rail and trail multi-use path.

Lois Hurley

You hear their voices and you listen to their stories – but you might not know what happens behind the scenes – what goes into producing an audio story for public radio.  You could probably guess that there’s some research – phone calls, emails leading to interviews – recording the interviews and cutting up the audio – writing, editing, etc.  But every once in a while, a radio journalist will run into a particular “radio journalist” sort of problem.  A little hazard or difficulty that he or she must try to overcome.  Word of Mouth's Sean Hurley tells us about a particular sound issue he’s b

Sean Hurley

For some, the end of winter conjures thoughts of swimming at the lake or working in the garden.  For others, the warm weather means it’s time to put fresh batteries in the metal detector.  

Retired firefighter Mike Cogan from Long Island hoists a metal detector over his shoulder and heads down the dirt road with 40 other metal detecting enthusiasts from around the country.

Sean Hurley

After an evening of auditions at Jean’s Playhouse, Clark’s Trading Post has found its new Wolfman. Actor, teacher, construction worker  - and Santa Claus - Larry Vigus of Barrington, New Hampshire has won the iconic role.

In 1969, the day after graduating from High School, Leon Noel took a job as a laborer at Clark’s Trading Post. He did landscaping, swept the parking lot, and sometimes took tickets. 

Sean Hurley

Every week or so someone stops by Brookford Farm in Canterbury and finds the little building near the chicken coop where Dane Percy makes bread and asks him if he’ll teach them how to do it.  

“Which just has a romance variable in it,” Percy says, “that  I try to extinguish it as soon as possible by saying,  ‘Well, can you use a chainsaw?’”

Sean Hurley

It hasn't been a great year for skiers or ski areas across the Granite State.  But it's not just the mountains that suffered from the lack of snow.

Ian Hart

This past winter four New Hampshire friends set out for a 12 day thru hike of the Cohos Trail -  170 miles from Crawford Notch to the Canadian Border.  When they began their hike in early February they had no idea that if they finished they'd become the first hikers to ever complete the trail in winter.  NHPR's Sean Hurley has more. 

Sean Hurley

Last week the top ski jumpers from high schools across New Hampshire gathered for the Ski Jump State Championship in Plymouth.  But as NHPR's Sean Hurley reports, the event almost didn't happen.

15 year old Plymouth sophomore Luke Johnstone remembers the old ski jump. "I didn't like it too much," he says. "It was pretty scary.  Little wobbly up at the top there. So I didn't really like it too much."

Sean Hurley

There were two big winners last night in the New Hampshire primary- and a handful of  losers.  NPHR's Sean Hurley spent some time at the Primary parties of two of the latter, Carly Fiorina and former Virginia Governor, Jim Gilmore.

Sean Hurley

While most New Hampshire’s cities and towns will use machines to count votes this Primary Day, many towns still do things the old-fashioned way: hand-counted ballots.  But fewer towns stick to that method every year. This year, five new towns have opted to go the automated tabulator route. NHPR's Sean Hurley lives in one of those towns: Thornton.  He visited Town Hall to see how officials there are faring with the newfangled device.


Sean Hurley

About 1500 people turned out to see Donald Trump at Plymouth State University this weekend during one of his final campaign stops before the Primary.  NHPR's Sean Hurley was there and sends us this.

Donald Trump didn't venture far from familiar talking points. China, Vets, Common Core, bomb the oil - the wall...the fact that he's the only candidate funding his own campaign. "I have no friends as far as I'm concerned," Trump told the mostly standing crowd. "You know who's my friends?  You're my friends..."

Sean Hurley

Kaitlin Clark, 11 years old and from North Woodstock, has been busy this winter. She's racing on the Lin-Wood School's ski team. She's in the debate club. And now she's got a new gig, as a Kid Reporter with the Scholastic News Press Corp. 

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