The New Hampshire Theatre Awards (NHTA) were established in 2002 with the first awards presented in February of 2003. Originally founded by a group of producers, directors, performers and theater lovers, the organization has evolved into a non-profit organization with a formal board of directors and an active operations committee.

The basic premise was to provide a tangible tribute to the participants, on and off stage, who typically receive little or no recognition. The intention was to promote New Hampshire theatre, in general, and motivate groups around the state to raise their theatrical standards.

The New Hampshire Theatre Awards honors professional, community, and youth theater organizations with more than 50 participating theatre companies.