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Maine Interviews

Oh, What a Beautiful Feeling: Stephen Mark Lukas and Taylor Quick in Ogunquit's OKLAH Interview Oh, What a Beautiful Feeling: Stephen Mark Lukas and Taylor Quick in Ogunquit's OKLAHOMA
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - June 25, 2018, Maine

'There is something so simple, so wholesome about the story and the characters. When Curly made his entrance on opening night at the St. James Theatre in 1943 and sang 'Oh, what a beautiful morning,' the whole audience took a huge sigh of relief. There in the midst of war was a breath of optimism ...
Megan Lione is Enlightened by RAGTIME at Ogunquit Playhouse Interview Megan Lione is Enlightened by RAGTIME at Ogunquit Playhouse
by Christopher Castanho - August 21, 2017, Maine

Stephen Flaherty's catchy and powerful melodies and Lynn Ahren's poignant lyrics 'It was the music of something beginning, an era exploding, a century spinning. In riches and rags, and in rhythm and rhyme. The people called it Ragtime.' can be heard at Maine's very own Ogunquit Playhouse running now...
Coming Together to Bring Change, Panel Discusses NEWSIES Interview Coming Together to Bring Change, Panel Discusses NEWSIES
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - August 17, 2017, Maine

"Newsies is a hit wherever you take it; it had a highly successful Broadway run and national tour and now in these first regional productions, it is the kind of show that brings people from all over to see it again and again. It reaches so many people with its great music and dance and inspiring sto...
When the Fun Was the Music: MSMT and Portland Stage's Co-Production of THE ALL NIGHT Interview When the Fun Was the Music: MSMT and Portland Stage's Co-Production of THE ALL NIGHT STRUT
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - August 09, 2017, Maine

"The All Night Strut will transport you to a time when life was happier, and the fun was the music. This show will prove that it is still about the music. The audience will go nuts for the production; they will eat it alive and want more and more of it." Curt Dale Clark knows from whence he spe...
A Woman Standing Up in a Man's World: Kate Fahrner in NEWSIES Interview A Woman Standing Up in a Man's World: Kate Fahrner in NEWSIES
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - August 07, 2017, Maine

“She a woman standing up in a man's world, and she won't take no for an answer,” Kate Farhner says admiringly of her current role in Maine State Music Theatre's new production of Disney's Newsies. “Katherine is one of the principal storytellers in the show, and [as a writer], she is unique because s...
From Argentina to the Streets Of New York: Matt Farcher Returns to MSMT Interview From Argentina to the Streets Of New York: Matt Farcher Returns to MSMT
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - August 05, 2017, Maine

'It has been a very cool year for me!' Matt Farcher exclaims, as he reminisces about the last twelve months since he made his Maine State Music Theatre debut as Che Guevara in Evita last summer. The actor, who will star as Jack Kelly in the upcoming production of Disney's Newsies that begins perform...
We Go Together: GREASE Ensemble Discusses Challenges and Camaraderie Interview We Go Together: GREASE Ensemble Discusses Challenges and Camaraderie
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - July 28, 2017, Maine

'We are all there for each other,' Kevin Nietzel asserts, affirming the bond that is making Maine State Music Theatre's Grease so electric. 'It is very rewarding,' adds Neil Starkenberg, MSMT's Danny Zuko. Co-star Chelsea Williams, who plays Sandy to Starkenberg's Danny, continues the though...
'I Feel Most Myself When I Am Acting': A Conversation with GREASE's Chelsea Williams Interview 'I Feel Most Myself When I Am Acting': A Conversation with GREASE's Chelsea Williams
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - July 18, 2017, Maine

'I think other people first recognized that I was geared to being a performer. I didn't necessarily recognize that myself, but when I performed in my first musical in high school, I suddenly said to myself 'Nothing else makes me feel like this. I felt these amazing vibrations between me and the au...
A Reputation to Protect: Neil Starkenberg Stars as MSMT's Danny Zuko
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - July 16, 2017, Maine

'I imagine that Danny is the youngest in a family of boys, and he feels he has to live up to the name Zuko at Rydell High. In the movie he says 'I've got a reputation to protect,' and I think that goes a long way to explaining his behavior.' Neil Starkenberg is commenting on his role debut in Mai...
Weaving Many Musical Threads into a Theatrical Life: A Conversation with Peter Oyloe
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - July 11, 2017, Maine

'There have been so many musical threads throughout my life ever since I was a little guy. Music was something I did early on. I would listen to my dad, who had a beautiful voice, sing, and together we would listen to his vinyl record collection. I was always drawn to music written before I was bor...
Finding Authenticity in Runyonland
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - July 06, 2017, Maine

'It's a warhorse and has been a guaranteed sellout since 1950, but that doesn't mean a production doesn't need a little spark. DJ [Salisbury] did exactly what I asked him to do,' says Maine State Music Theatre's Artistic Director Curt Dale Clark. 'I asked him not to reinvent the wheel, but to tweak...
Kristen Hahn: The Many Layers of Sgt. Sarah Brown
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - June 27, 2017, Maine

"She's a wonderfully layered character," Kristen Hahn exclaims as she describes her newest role. "Most of all in her heart she wants to help people, but she is not quite cut out to rule with an iron fist like her mentor, General Cartwright. I think at first she is feeling a little lost and not willi...
Stephen Mark Lukas: Chemistry?...Yeah, Chemistry!
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - June 24, 2017, Maine

'There's this line in the show that I think is key to understanding Sky and Sarah's romance. 'Chemistry?' she asks, and he says, 'Yeah, chemistry.' The message is that when that connection between two people happens, it doesn't really matter what you've predicted for yourself. What's real is the che...
Of Country Music Legends, Children's Theatre, and Community: MSMT Opens A PEEK BEHIND THE CURTAIN Series
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - June 16, 2017, Maine

'We wanted to go big and grand. We knew we had Christine [Mild] with her powerhouse performance and Charis [Leos] so we wanted to play it large and create an environment that would support them. The production concept we came up with turned out to be a wonderful envelope to wrap around the show and ...
Connor Donnelly of YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN at Seaside Pavilion
by Student Blogger: Samuel Laro - June 16, 2017, Maine

What's Socrates got to do with it anyway? I sat down with Connor Donnelly (LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, FOOTLOOSE) who plays Schroeder and found out some information about the rehearsal process for YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN at the Seaside Pavilion....
Twenty-six Roles and Counting: Charis Leos at Maine State Music Theatre
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - June 09, 2017, Maine

'I love it here! This Always, Patsy Cline will be the twenty-sixth production I've appeared in with MSMT, and by the end of this summer, the number will be twenty-nine.' Actress Charis Leos - a huge favorite with Maine audiences and critics alike - is reflecting on her long association with the Brun...
The Yodel, the Cry, the Catch, the Growl - Christine Mild Brings Patsy Cline to Life
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - June 06, 2017, Maine

'It's all in the way she placed her voice. I like to call it the Kermit the Frog place - the soft palate at the back of the throat, and that's what activates the yodel, the catch, the cry, the growl which are the iconic hallmarks of her singing. Patsy Cline wasn't really a technical singer; this al...
An Evening of 'Short Stories' and a Song Book To Die For: THE ALL NIGHT STRUT
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - May 26, 2017, Maine

“The All Night Strut has a songbook to die for! It may not be as riotously funny as The Irish and How They Got Way was,” says Maine State Music Theatre's Artistic Director Curt Dale Clark, but I know from experience that the audience will leave the theatre exhilarated!” Clark, who will co-produce th...
John Willey of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW at The Chocolate Church Arts Center
by Elaine Bard - May 04, 2017, Maine

'The theme of romantic relationship is one familiar to all of us and in the dance of the lovers that is played out by the characters, we can see, and laugh at our own follies and challenges as human beings.'...
A Desire To Be the Absolute Best We Can: MSMT Launches Its 2017 Season
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - April 06, 2017, Maine

'At the end of last summer I told myself that we were not going to try to top the 2016 season. I was going to think of 2017 as a completely separate and unique adventure, but the end result is that we are already topping our previous metrics in terms of ticket sales.' The speaker, Curt Dale Clark,...
Zack LaChance And Braden Foley of THE ADDAMS FAMILY at Thornton Academy Auditorium
by Student Blogger: Samuel Laro - April 05, 2017, Maine

One normal night is not what you'll get at Thornton Academy! I was invited to talk to the performers of THE ADDAMS FAMILY at the Thornton Academy Auditorium. I was able to speak with Zack LaChance and Braden Foley who play Gomez and Fester Addams, respectively....
Pam Mutty and Cast of LES MISÈRABLES at Crooker Auditorium
by Student Blogger: Samuel Laro - March 27, 2017, Maine

Do you hear the students sing? The Brunswick High School Players are presenting LES MISÈRABLES SCHOOL EDITION under the direction of Pam Mutti....
Holding a Mirror Up to the Audience: Director Stacey Koloski Discusses THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - March 22, 2017, Maine

"Superficially the play is a courtroom drama with judge, jury, and attorneys, but really it is a universal exploration of the themes of forgiveness, self-forgiveness, and the willingness to accept others." Portland-based theatre artist Stacey Koloski is talking about her latest project, directin...
A-Five, Six, Seven, Eight: MSMT Local Auditions Sparkle
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - March 06, 2017, Maine

The hallways are jammed with bright, expectant, luminous faces wearing their most eye-catching outfits, laden with dance bags, juggling binders with music and resumes, scanning their ever present iPhones, and searching for a place to sit or stretch or warm-up as they await the call. The energy is p...
Marissa Brown of DEAR CHUCK at Winslow Homer Center For The Arts
by Student Blogger: Samuel Laro - March 06, 2017, Maine

I was given the opportunity to sit down and talk with Marissa Brown, director of DEAR CHUCK at Scarborough High School right before the final performance of the show before they move on to the Maine Drama Festival....
MSMT's MAGIC TIME Draws Capacity Crowds
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - February 26, 2017, Maine

“Are you ready for some fun and fairytales? We're going to need you to use your imaginations to help us.” The preschoolers in the front rows giggle and squeal in anticipation. Maine State Music Theatre's Artistic Director, Curt Dale Clark knows how to energize young audiences, and he clearly rel...
Embracing the Face to Face: A Conversation with Mad Horse Theatre's Christine Louise Marshall
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - January 16, 2017, Maine

'It's so wonderful to hear a playwright's voice and think 'I have never heard that said in that way. It's a lovely thing!' The Artistic Director of South Portland's Mad Horse Theatre Company is talking about the theatre's upcoming Maine premiere of Jennifer Haley's dark and riveting drama, The Neth...
Where the Next Generation of Musicals Is Born
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - November 09, 2016, Maine

'New theatre work is important because it is more likely to reflect what is actually going on in the world; it can speak to global happenings and events and find ways to digest them and cope with them.' Artistic Director of Maine State Music Theatre Curt Dale Clark is talking about his recent v...
BWW Review: Wish, Wish, Wish: The Magic of MSMT's ALADDIN
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - August 22, 2016, Maine

The young and young at heart were treated to a day of enchantment at Maine State Music Theatre today, when the company presented four performances of Marc Robin and Curt Dale Clark's delightful musical retelling of Aladdin, directed and choreographed by Raymond Marc Dumont. Presented in a fully stag...
Between Universal and Silly: MSMT Panel Discusses MAMMA MIA!
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - August 18, 2016, Maine

'It's the music and the storytelling; the storytelling walks a fine line between being universal and silly. There is a lot of humor and a lot of warmth and so many relationships you can connect with. All that coupled with joyful, upbeat, recognizable music - those crazy tunes by those inspired cre...
On a Magic Carpet Ride: ALADDIN and the Musicals of Robin and Clark
by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold - August 16, 2016, Maine

When Aladdin, directed and choreographed by Raymond Marc Dumont, opens on August 22, the four performances at Maine State Music Theatre will mark twenty-six years of collaboration and fifteen original shows created by the team of Marc Robin and Curt Dale Clark. These two highly respected artists – R...