Maine Playwrights Festival Announces Schedule for 19 New Made-in-Maine Plays
The Maine Playwrights Festival (MPF), now entering it's 13th year, has announced the performance schedule for this year's event, which takes place at the St. Lawrence Arts Center in Portland. The 2014 MPF takes place between April 23 and May 4, and includes two schedules of short plays, a staged reading of a full-length play, the 24-Hour Theater Project, and a new event entitled "The Monologathon" featuring teams of actors and writers competing with new monologues before a panel of celebrity judges. This year's MPF features more artists than ever before, including the work of more than 19 local writers, as well as dozens of actors, directors and crew members. The MPF is an annual showcase of new work by Maine-based playwrights that has served as an incubator for hundreds of local scripts, several of which have gone on to be featured at festivals all over the country. Tickets for the festival range from $10 to $15 and are available at the MPF website www.maineplaywrightsfestival.org or by calling Acorn Productions, the MPF's producer, at 854-0065. Festival passes valid for any show are also available.
Eighteen of the entries chosen for the Festival will be staged in two lineups of short plays, "Alpha" and "Omega" while the nineteenth will be a full-length staged reading of Linda Britt's "WHAT IF..." a scandalous tale of an adult dinner party gone wrong. Other festival highlights include "The Monologathon" a live American-Idol-style completion, and the 24-Hour Theatre Project in which 6 plays are written, rehearsed and performed over the space of one day. This year's MPF is the first curated by local playwrights Michael Tooher and Cullen McGough, producers of the monthly "Crowbait Club," who have assumed the role of festival directors for the 2014 season.
"This was a breakthrough year for the MPF," said Kerry Rasor, Board President of Acorn Productions, the non-profit umbrella organization responsible for the MPF. "We received a record number of new plays for the competition. I think it speaks highly of Maine's theatrical talent, and the growing interest in live drama. We've brought hundreds of Made-in-Maine plays to life and provided local playwrights with a valuable chance to be present at the birth of their work," said Rasor. "Many of the scripts at the MPF have gone on to be produced at other theatres across the country. Best of all, the MPF is a unique opportunity to bring together actors, writers and directors from all across Maine, creating a community of artists and nurturing collaboration." Artistic Director Michael Tooher added, "My plays have been produced all over the country, but nothing compares to the heart pounding I get when the lights go down at the MPF. Nothing compares to playing in your home town."
Festival playwrights include: Michael Kimball, Jefferson Navicky, Shirley Sergent, Kathy Hooke, Jody McColman, Howard Rosenfield, Jo-Anne Walton, Patricia Mew, Josh Brassard, Ryan William Sheppard, Sybil Baker, John Manderino, Lynne Cullen, Laurie Medeiros, David Susman, Stephen Dennis, Erica Thompson, Jennifer Reck and Linda Britt.
Schedule of Performances:
Wednesday, April 23 at 7:30pm - The Monologathon
Thursday, April 24 at 7:30pm - The Alpha Show
Friday, April 25 at 7:30pm - The Alpha Show
Saturday, April 26 at 4pm - The Alpha Show
Saturday, April 26 at 7:30pm - The Alpha Show
Wednesday, April 30 at 7:30pm - staged reading of "What If," by Linda Britt
Thursday, May 1 at 7:30pm - The Omega Show
Friday, May 2 at 7:30pm - The Omega Show
Saturday, May 3 at 4pm - The Omega Show
Saturday, May 4 at 7:30pm - The Omega Show
Sunday, May 4 at 7:30pm - The 24-hour Portland Theater Project
Tickets cost from $10-$15. For more information, call 854-0065 or visit www.maineplaywrightsfestival.org. The festival will take place at The St. Lawrence Arts Center, 76 Congress St. Portland, ME 04101.