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University of Southern Maine Theatre Will Present Theatre for Young Audiences with DEAR EDWINA

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University of Southern Maine Theatre Will Present Theatre for Young Audiences with DEAR EDWINA

The USM Department of Theatre, in collaboration with USM School of Music, continues its season-long celebration of women's voices with a musical for the young and young-at-heart, Dear Edwina. Music by Zina Goldrich and book & lyrics by Marcy Heisler. Directed by Joyce A. Presutti with Musical Direction by Edward Reichert.

Thirteen-year-old Edwina Spoonapple would do just about anything to be a part of the Kalamazoo Advice-a-Palooza Festival. When a talent scout from the festival visits her hometown, she trots out her musical advice, presenting shows live from the family garage in hopes of finding her place in the spotlight. Assisted by her older siblings, quirky friends and friendly neighbors, Edwina sets out to tackle the world's problems in number after hysterical number. This heartwarming musical for all ages celebrates the joys of growing up and singing your own song.

Ciara Niedlinger, the first year musical theatre major who plays Edwina, says she's excited about the show's message, "It's about the tenacity of young women and how communities and friendships can help them realize their goals. And while the show is geared towards a younger audience, it's a message that speaks to all ages, genders, and cultural backgrounds."

Director Joyce A. Presutti is excited to create a show that will speak to audiences with a new and fresh voice, "The music is uplifting and charming, funny and heartwarming - it is one of the reasons I so enjoy doing this particular show. This cast is knocking it out of the park with their exuberance and terrific ideas."

She continues to be inspired by the show's message, "The conclusion of this show is so simple and true, my hope is that everyone, especially young people, will take away the message that we are all perfect just the way we are at any one moment in our lives. If we all stay true to ourselves and share our own unique talents, if we reach out our hand to those in need, if we accept each other with no judgment, together we can change the world and exist together in peace."

Musical director, Edward Reichert, agrees, "What excites me most about this production is the message behind it: Sing your own song! Make your own music! Embrace who you are. I've been teaching here at USM for 19 years and this is the first mainstage musical I can recall that is geared towards families and younger audiences. It's exciting that we are reaching out to the communities and schools. At the end of the day, Dear Edwina truly is a musical for all ages."

Dear Edwina opens February 28 and runs through March 8. All performances take place on the USM Gorham campus in historic Russell Hall.

To purchase tickets, or for more information, visit USM Theatre online at usm.maine.edu/theatre, or call the USM Theatre Box Office at (207) 780-5151. For more information on USM's Department of Theatre events and programs, click here.

Photo Credit: Noli French/French Photography



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