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Umbrella Theatre @LSC

Lincoln Street Center for the Arts will launch the Umbrella Theatre, a three part project designed to bring professional quality  theater to the midcoast, with an August production of The Country of the Pointed Firs.  (Character list below for interested actors) The play, adapted by playwright/actor  Harold Bond from the classic novel  by Maine writer, Sara Orne Jewett will be produced by the Avant-garde Playhouse the second tier of the Umbrella project..  Avant-garde Playhouse is designed to act as a forum for new and experimental ideas, with special consideration for Maine plays and playwrights.  The ACT NOW Children's Theatre,  already up and running, and The GEM Theatre which will bring classic and contemporary work to the community are the other two prongs of the Umbrella Theatre project (see box).  We have a wonderful theater at Lincoln Street, says director, Angela Anderson, and it is our goal to develop a strong resident company to fulfill its potential.
 Like Jewett's classic novel, written in 1896,  Bond's play presents a poignant, believable and occasionally humorous portrayal of the residents of  Dunnets Landing, a once prosperous Maine coastal town whose inhabitants lives are molded by harsh winters, glorious summers and a dying fishing industry.  As many midcoast residents may already know Country of the Pointed Firs was actually begun during a summer Jewett spent in Tenants Harbor and Martinsville on the St. George Penninsula   Like the book, the play is strong with outstanding roles for a dozen men and women ages twenty five to eighty five.  Non-speaking roles, as residents of Dunnet's Landing, will also need to be filled. A complete list of the characters, their ages and qualities can be found on the Lincoln Street website www.lincolnstreetcenter.org. or by stopping by at the Lincoln Street Center's office Monday thru Friday from 9 to 1:00 pm. 

About the playwright:

Playwright Harold Bond, a Massachusetts resident who summers in Maine,  has acted and directed in theater groups north of Boston for over forty years.  Leading roles include: The Crucible, Equus, Death of a Salesman, Charlie's Aunt and Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf.  A recipient of the New England Conference's Best Actor Award, Bond is the author of eight plays including The Man of Letters (a one-act play about the relationship between Emily Dickinson and her mentor), The Lost Boy (adapted from a short story by Thomas Wolfe), Fanny's Fandango, a musical and The Overcoat (adapted from a story by Nikolai Gogol).  A retired teacher of English, he currently serves as actor-director for Actors@Liberty, a group that presents entertainment for libraries and clubs.      
Country of the Pointed Fir will be directed by Sally MacVane of Port Clyde.  Like Bond, MacVane has been involved in community theater for many years.  Originally from Massachusetts,  her directorial credits include: You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, Blithe Spirit, Private Lives, You Can't Take it With You, The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail and Oklahoma!.  In Maine,  she has directed Oliver, Man of La Mancha, The Fantastiks and Brigadoon for Camden Civic Theatre.  Acting roles include: Nora in A Dolls House, Marian in The Music Man, Luisa in The Fantastiks, Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof,  Thea in Fiorello! and Kitty in Charlie's Aunt.   MacVane was also a recipient of the Best Supporting Actress Award at the New England Theatre Conference for the duel role of Martha/Judy in Lanford Wilson's This is the Rill Speaking
Production dates for County of the Pointed Fir are set for Friday and Saturday, August 10, 11, 17 & 18. An informal reading of the play will take place on Wednesday, June 13th at 7:00 pm in the theater at Lincoln Street..  Actors considering auditioning are invited to attend as are  persons interested in all phases of production.

 Auditions will be held at Lincoln Street on Saturday afternoon, June 16th and Sunday, June 17th beginning at 2 pm.  Actors wishing to submit resumes in advance can mail them to Sally MacVane/Pointed Fir, Box 292, Port Clyde, Me. 04855.   

CHARACTERS - COUNTRY OF THE POINTED FIRS *

NARRATOR (40 - 60) the older Sarah Orne Jewett
(this role need not be memorized but actor must be totally familiar with the script.)                                   

SARAH (25 - 30) the younger Sarah Orne Jewett

ALMIRA TODD (67) Sarah's landlandy for the summer at Dunnett's Landing.  A tall person, large in spirit and body, knows and uses herbs for healing, can row, sail a boat or drive a team of horses with ease. Mrs. Todd is a widow and the central character of the play.                                       

CAPTAIN LITTLEPAGE (80's) "There was something quite charming about his appearance: It was a face thin and delicate with refinement, but worn into appealing lines..."

GAFFETT an old seaman (and Scotsman) encountered by Captain Littlepage on a sea voyage "...old Gaffett that I lived with seemed speechless, but as we got acquainted I found he'd been through more disasters than I had."

MRS. BLACKETT (85+) Almira Todd's mother; small, able to carry a tune. "...bright eyes and an affectionate air of expectation - you felt she were an old and dear friend before she let go her cordial hand."

WILLIAM (60's) Mrs. Blackett's son, Almira's brother, able to carry
a tune. ..."gray-headed and clean shaven with a timid air...he looked
just like his mother"...William and Mrs. Blackett live alone on Green
Island.

MRS. FOSDICK (65-70) An old friend of Mrs. Todd's.  She "gave both her hostess and me a warm feeling of enjoyment and expectation,
as if she had the power of social suggestion to all the neighboring minds." Note: Mrs. Fosdick does not live at Dunnett's Landing.

JOANNA (30's to 40's) "Poor Joanna", lives alone on Shell Heap island where she "escaped" after being jilted, "...she always had
beautiful, quiet manners..."

REVEREND DIMMICK (30's) A bit of a stuffed shirt

ELIIJAH TILLEY (70's) "...one of the small company of
elderly gaunt-shaped fishermen... large old men at the Landing who were the survivors of an earlier and more vigorous generation..."

MRS. HARRIS (60's) A neighbor of Mrs. Todd at Dunnett's
Landing.                                   

ESTHER (60) A non-speaking role                     

NEIGHBORS & RELATIVES 8 to 12 people, should be able to carry
a tune, but not sound professional!! They appear in two scenes of the play. Stage crew could double in these roles. 
                                     .
             * quotes are from the book, Country of the Pointed Firs and are meant only to serve as guidelines to the characters.

 

 

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Lincoln Street Center for Arts and Education   •   24 Lincoln Street   •   PO Box 1631  •   Rockland, Maine 04841 USA

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