Acorn Productions to Present Maine Playwrights Festival in April
Acorn Productions has announced the performance schedule for the 11th annual Maine Playwrights Festival. This year's festival takes place during the month of April, beginning with a special fundraising event titled "Write Right Wright" on April 3rd, continuing with 2 staged readings on April 7th and 14th, and culminating with 2 weekends of fully staged performances at the St. Lawrence Arts Center from April 19th to 29th. Additionally, the festival includes an evening of 2-minute plays entitled "Take Two", which offers audiences two different intrerpretations of the same plays, and the 24-hour Portland Theater Project, an action-packed day of theater featuring several prominent directors from various professional theater companies in Portland. Ticket prices for the Maine Playwrights Festival vary in cost from $10 to $18 depending on the performance, and the staged readings and "Write Right Wright" events are free with a suggested donation. Various passes for the festival are also available; call Acorn Productions at 854-0065 or visit www.acorn-productions.org for more info or to purchase tickets.
The Maine Playwrights Festival is entering its eleventh year of presenting world premiere scripts by some of the area's most talented playwrights. Over the course of the festival's first eleven years, the festival has presented hundreds of scripts and dozens of staged reading at a number of venues in the Greater Portland area. The plays are selected each season by an open call that is issued in the fall, and any Maine-based playwright may submit their work. This year's festival features 10 short plays and 2 full-length plays that were selected from over 90 submissions. This year's full-length plays are by Lynne Cullen and Charlie Marenghi. The short plays were written by Laurie Brassard, Delvyn Case, Maureen Ann Connolly, Chelsea Cook, Larry Crane, Sarah Halford, Patricia Mew, Jefferson Navicky, David Vardeman, and David Vazdauskas. The plays are directed by Acorn's Producing Director Michael Levine, company members Harlan Baker, Laura Graham, and Stephanie Ross, along with guest artist Shawna Houston. The actors are a mixture of well-known professional actors and students from the Acorn Acting Academy. All told, over 50 creative artists are taking part in this celebration of the talented theater artists in the state of Maine.
Acorn kicks off the month of celebrating of the work of Maine playwrights with an evening of spoken word entitled "Write Right Write,"which takes place at Mayo Street Arts in Portland on Tuesday, April 3rd at 7:30pm. This event features several playwrights whose plays will be performed at the Maine Playwrights Festival reading their original works in other media, including poetry, essays and short stories. Complimentary refreshments will be available, and many of the actors, directors and of course playwrights involved in the festival will be in attendance for an informal meet and greet session both before and after the readings. As of press time, confirmed readers included Laurie Brassard, HAl Cohen, Sarah Halford, Rebecca Iren, Cullen McGough, Jefferson Navicky and MK Spain. The evening will also include performances by Naked Shakespeare, and readings by "Lowry's Lodge" curators Anne Wrobel and Jim Donnelly.
One of the new components to this year's Maine Playwrights Festival is an evening of 2-minute plays entitled "Take Two." In this unique evening, ten 2-minute plays will be presented twice, often with the same cast, but always with wildly varying interpretations of the characters' actions and feelings for one another. This performance offers audiences a chance to see the creative process at work, and appreciate how much a director's and the actors' points of view can change a work of theater in its presentation. "Take Two" features scripts by Brent Askari, HAl Cohen, Elizabeth Guffey, Sarah Halford, Rebecca Iren, Jesse Leighton, Cullen McGough, Pat Mew, MK Spain, and Michael Tooher. The line-up will be performed only once, on Saturday, April 21st at 7:30pm, and the plays are all directed by Michael Levine. Admission is $14 for adults and $12 for students and seniors.