PAPERMAKER Gets to the Heart of Maine Milltowns

Penobscot Theatre Company is preparing to stage the second production of Papermaker, by acclaimed Maine author Monica Wood (The One-in-a-Million Boy, We Were the Kennedys). Directed by Daniel Burson (One Blue Tarp), the production will open in previews March 16 and run through April 2, with 14 performances at the historic Bangor Opera House.

The drama unfolds around two families on opposite sides of a protracted paper mill strike in a small Maine town. When we meet Ernie, a lifelong laborer and diehard union man, he is occupying himself with a project as ambitious as it is confounding, the construction of an ark in his backyard. News of the ark spreads, inspiring an impromptu visit from the mill owner's daughter. When she and her father appear, sparks fly and tensions are revealed not only between the workers and management but between the generations coping with unsettling shifts in the economic landscape. "This town and these characters are fictional," explains Producing Artistic Director Bari Newport, "but Wood's story rings true. With great humor and sensitivity, she has captured the humanity at the heart of the changes with which Maine communities are grappling."

Newport is thrilled to introduce actress Emily Shain (AEA) of New York, who will be making her Penobscot Theatre Company debut, along with Portland-based actor James Herrera. The cast also includes local standouts Daniel Kennedy, Doug Meswarb, AJ Mooney and Jen Shephard. Chez Cherry (scenic), Jonathan Spencer (lighting), Brandie Larkin (sound) and Belinda Hobbs (props) comprise the design team.

Capitalizing on the overlap between the production's opening weekend and the third annual Maine Science Festival, the company will offer an expanded talkback following the 3:00 pm matinee performance, Sunday, March 19: a panel discussion featuring Monica Wood and the cast and creative team as well as industry and business development experts and others impacted by mill closures and restructurinG. Wood will be available for book signing after this event.

Show tickets are available online at www.penobscottheatre.org or through the box office, located at 131 Main Street, Bangor; (207) 942-3333.

Papermaker is produced in proud partnership with Bangor Savings Bank with generous support from Eastern Maine Development Corporation and season sponsors Bangor Daily News, Blueberry Broadcasting, Canyon Networks, The Charles Inn, The Maine Arts Commission, The Maine Edge, Darling's, Downtown with Rich Kimball, Wave Radio, WLBZ Channel 2, and ZONE Radio.


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