World Premiere at Portland Stage Company's Studio Rep Series
Lanyard Theatre Company, founded and based in Bath, will present the world premiere of Temporary Living Arrangements, the first full-length dramatic work written by new Co-Artistic Director Elizabeth Lardie. A dark comedy centering around a young obituaries editor and her terminally ill mother, the play was inspired in part by Lardie's four years as the community editor for the Mid-coast daily paper The Times Record. The 30-year-old Maine native will also be performing in the production, which will open as part of Portland Stage Company's Studio Rep Series, a showcase of new works, on Jan. 11 and run through Feb. 1. It will be directed by Lanyard Co-Artistic Director Joseph Barbarino of New York. About the Play This is a show about confronting the inevitable. And culturally, we are not particularly adept at being able to discuss death and loss frankly, be it our own fears of how we'll be remembered or how we celebrate a loved one's life. One of the best (and cathartic) ways to deal with any painful subject is through humor. In Temporary Living Arrangements, this ranges from bad jokes training editors make to the horrifying absurdity of a fire at a funeral home, and the resulting "complementary cremations." These anecdotes are mostly drawn from my own real life experience as an obituary editor, as well as my own experience with caring for a parent.
This show is also an analysis of how we navigate different versions of our life story. Prior to curtain, audience members will be invited to write down on a card one thing they would like to be remembered for. These will be anonymous and read aloud at the end. We can't wait to read both honest and ridiculously flippant answers alike.
About the Playwright
Elizabeth Lardie, who will also be playing lead character Ollie Churchill in this production, has been seen in state with AIRE, Fenix Theatre Company, The Theater Project, Dramatic Repertory Company, Snowlion Repertory Company, The Theater at Monmouth and Lanyard Theater Company (where she serves as Co-Artistic Director), as well as Manhattan Theatre Club in NYC and Sydney Theatre Company in Australia. Her first two feature film projects, "How to Make Movies at Home" (nominee - Jack Nance Breakthrough Performance Award) and "Couples," have been screening in film festivals nationally this past year. Elizabeth is a native of Bath, Maine, and earned a bachelor's degree in theater from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.
About Studio Rep
Now in its second year Studio Rep is a collaborative project launched by Portland Stage to build bridges between the theater, local theater artists, and our audience. The aims of Studio Rep are to learn about what excites the next generation of theater artists; introduce our audiences to their work and their audiences to ours; and above all, to contribute to the ongoing vibrancy of Portland's theater ecology. For the 2014 Studio Rep Portland Stage will host productions from The Improvised Puppet Project, Lanyard Theatre Company, and Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Theatre Company.
Lanyard Theatre Company is a professional theatre troupe operating primarily in the state of Maine and focusing purely on developing and showcasing new work, founded by area actor and playwright Kevin O'Leary. Now under the helm of founding member Joseph Barbarino and Maine native Elizabeth Lardie, the company has presented a staged reading of O'Leary's latest work, the full-length play Lascaux, and two lauded entries in Portland's annual PortFringe fringe theater festival: Whale Watch and Heart on Crackers.
Founded in September 2005, the outfit blossomed out of a playwriting intensive called the Trigorin Project, which placed high school writers and actors with professional mentors from Maine and New York. After it became evident that community was hungry not just for students to have an opportunity to grow creatively but to see the produced work of the Trigorin mentors, LanyaRD Productions became semi-annual editions to the local arts and culture line-up.
We are working to make the Trigorin half of our operation a steady fixture in the area school system once again. Additionally, we are happy to return the company's annual programming to a minimum of two produced world premieres a season, and have opened up submissions beyond the original writers collective and encourage local playwrights to submit work for consideration, as either a workshop or full production.
For more information on Lanyard Theatre Company, go to www.facebook.com/LanyardTheatreCompany.