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18th Annual Maine Playwrights Festival Showcases Writers From High School To Established Professionals

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18th Annual Maine Playwrights Festival Showcases Writers From High School To Established Professionals

Performances for the 2019 Maine Playwrights Festival, the state's most prolific incubator for new plays by local playwrights, have been announced for April 25 through May 4 in Portland. This year's eighteenth annual festival features the world premiere performances of six new plays by Maine playwrights. Public performances will be held at the Studio Theater at Portland Stage (25 Forest Avenue). Festival tickets are available now at www.acorn-productions.org.

"This year's festival will present plays by a wide range of Maine writers from first time playwrights-some of them teenagers-to professional writers with many productions," says Daniel Burson, the festival's Artistic Director. "We're especially proud to be launching a new high school writers showcase this year; developing the next generation of playwrights and bringing the ideas and creativity of Maine students to our audiences."

The six new plays featured in the 2019 festival (described below), are written by Maine playwrights Eddie Adelman, Travis G. Baker, Danie Connolly, Kevin O'Leary, Thomas Spurr, and David Susman. Their plays were selected for the festival by a committee of local theater professionals out of a pool of more than 45 scripts submitted by playwrights from across Maine. The writers are developing and rehearsing their plays this spring working with 2019 professional playwright-in-residence Michael Kimball (Duck and Cover, The Secret of Comedy) as well as local professional directors, designers, and a cast of actors based in Southern Maine.

The 2019 Maine Playwrights Festival High School Writers Showcase will also be presented during the festival week on Saturday, April 27th. Thanks to a grant from the Sam L. Cohen Foundation, the Festival led intensive new play workshops at two local schools this winter: Bonny Eagle High School in Standish and Casco Bay High School in Portland. Short plays written by students at these workshops will be rehearsed and presented at the festival in low-tech productions. "Working with these students has been both fun and inspiring," says Artistic Director Burson. "They are the future of playwriting in Maine, and based on what we'll be showcasing later this month, that future is going to be phenomenal!"

In addition to the mainstage performances and high school writers showcase, the 2019 festival will also include a staged reading of five other new scripts that were semi-finalists during the selection process, to be held on Sunday, April 21, at 7:00pm. There will also be a reading of Playwright-in-residence Michael Kimball's full-length play Patience Boston held on Monday, April 29, at 7:00pm. Both nights of readings are open to the public on a Pay-what-you-can basis.

2019 Maine Playwrights Festival Plays

Performances April 25 to May 4

at The Studio Theater at Portland Stage (25 Forest Avenue; Portland)

(Tickets: $20 or $18 students/seniors - www.acorn-productions.org)

O'HARE - GATE A4 by Eddie Adelman

During a raging blizzard at O'Hare International, two former high school sweethearts meet by accident and unexpectedly find renewed meaning together.

THE STORE by Travis G. Baker

Artificial Intelligence finally comes to town... and it's potato intolerant.

ELVIS AND THE SWEAR CAN by Danie Connolly

A would-be bank robber makes a serious mistake when he chooses Ms. Sploom's teller line.

Gloria Anderson by Kevin O'Leary

David turns up on Edward's doorstep looking for someone he's never met-and ends up confronting something much bigger from his past than either man is ready to own up to.

MISTER PUDDLES' LAST ADVENTURE by Thomas Spurr

Two divorced parents cleaning out the room of their recently dead daughter come together to mourn, cope, blame each other, and maybe learn how to find comfort.

WILLY'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE by David Susman

Not-dead-after-all salesman Willy Loman returns to the 1940s after time-travelling into the future-and he brings big news: the year 2018 is the perfect place for the Loman family!

2019 Maine Playwrights Dramatic Readings

Reading April 21; 7:00 PM

at The Studio Theater at Portland Stage (25 Forest Avenue; Portland)

(Tickets: Pay-what-you-can, available at the door)

THE INTERVIEW by Brian Arundel

A SONG OF INDIA by Gordon LePage

LIKE AN OAK by Tony Morin

GOODWILL by Lori Rand

BUNK by Raechel Segal

2019 High School Playwrights Showcase

New scripts presented April 27; 3:00 PM

at The Studio Theater at Portland Stage (25 Forest Avenue; Portland)

(Tickets: Pay-what-you-can, available at the door)

A showcase of short plays by playwrights from Bonny Eagle High School in Standish and Casco Bay High School in Portland who took part in this year's MPF Playwriting workshops.

2019 Playwright-in-Residence Featured Work

Reading April 29; 7:00 PM

at The Studio Theater at Portland Stage (25 Forest Avenue; Portland)

(Tickets: Pay-what-you-can, available at the door)

PATIENCE BOSTON by Michael Kimball



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