2013-06-14 / Ticket

Theater at Monmouth switching things up

Family Show opens earlier for longer run in ‘Season for Lovers’
The Times Record

MAX WASZAK and Anna Doyle, above, in a scene from “The Little Prince,” a 2012 production at The Theater of Monmouth. This year’s Family Show will be “The Velveteen Rabbit,” from June 22 to Aug. 15. At left, Dustin Tucker and Janis Stevens perform in 2012’s “The Glass Menagerie.” 
AARON FLACKE PHOTOS MAX WASZAK and Anna Doyle, above, in a scene from “The Little Prince,” a 2012 production at The Theater of Monmouth. This year’s Family Show will be “The Velveteen Rabbit,” from June 22 to Aug. 15. At left, Dustin Tucker and Janis Stevens perform in 2012’s “The Glass Menagerie.” AARON FLACKE PHOTOS MONMOUTH

A Season for Lovers, Theater at Monmouth’s 44th season, runs July 5 through Aug. 18.

But before the repertory begins, the Family Show opens Saturday, June 22, at 7 p.m. The Family Show is a world premiere adaptation of Margery William’s heartwarming tale “The Velveteen Rabbit,” adapted by Dawn McAndrews, artistic director of the theater and directed by Brooke Edwards.

In past seasons, TAM has presented its Family Show (formerly “Children’s Show”) only in August. Based on the success of an extended run of last season’s “The Little Prince,” the theater is pleased to announce that “The Velveteen Rabbit” will enjoy a longer run from June 22 to Aug. 15.

“When a child loves you for a long, long time … then you become real,” so says the Rocking-Horse to the Velveteen Rabbit in Margery Williams’ much-loved literary classic. A toy rabbit, given as a gift to a young boy, yearns for the day the boy will choose him so that he can become real. Through love, devotion and a little bit of magic his dream comes true in this heart-warming tale for the whole family.

“The Velveteen Rabbit” tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children.

Summer repertory season

Theater at Monmouth’s summer season is a true ensemble of more than 50 theater artists from all over the country who rehearse and perform in repertory in Cumston Hall, a 250-seat Victorian opera house designed by Harry Cochrane. Since its founding, the theater has rehearsed and performed in rotating repertory, allowing audiences to see the actors in different roles in four different shows in one weekend. Each of this season’s six productions features newcomers as well as TAM favorites including Mark S. Cartier, Bill Van Horn, Janis Stevens and Mike Anthony.

— “The Knight of the Burning Pestle,” by Francis Beaumont; directed by Patrick Flick; July 5-Aug. 19

Imagine Homer and Marge Simpson buying tickets to a play and then climbing on stage to redirect the show with Bart as the star, and you have some idea of the fun unleashed in “The Knight of the Burning Pestle.” Loaded with laughter and song, this play is a celebration of the way Elizabethan audiences expected to be a part of the action with superlatively silly results.

Patrick Flick makes his TAM debut as director on “Pestle.” Flick has worked as a director and actor at theaters across the country, and is the newly appointed general manager of the Shakespeare Theatre Association. A four-time Emmy winner, Flick also serves on the Executive Committee of the National New Play Network.

— “The Taming of the Shrew,” by William Shakespeare; directed by Sally Wood; July 12-Aug. 18.

In “Shrew,” Shakespeare gives us the improbable courtship of the fiery-tongued Kate by the arrogant Petruchio. Unlike Shakespeare’s other romantic comedies, the play doesn’t stop with the wedding. Shakespeare considers the institution of marriage, the rifts between men and women, and the rough and tumble journey toward enduring love. The play bursts with disguise, deception, and devilment as well as the taming of not one but two shrewish lovers fighting to maintain control and independence.

Sally Wood, former TAM artistic director and an audience favorite both on and offstage, returns this summer to direct “Shrew.” Wood is an actor, fight choreographer, teaching artist, and director who has worked both regionally and abroad.

— “Our Town,” by Thornton Wilder; directed by Davis Robinson; July 19-Aug. 17.

Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, “Our Town,” presents a timeless tale of the universal experience of being human. Teenagers George and Emily meet, fall in love, and marry; enduring both the joys and sorrows of everyday life. Wilder transforms their ordinary story into a poignant and captivating exploration of mortality and the wonder of living. Mark S. Cartier plays the stage manager who invites us to the mythical Grover’s Corners in celebration of the play’s 75th anniversary.

Davis Robinson returns for his fourth season at TAM to direct “Our Town.” He has worked professionally as an actor and director for more than 20 years in film, television, and on stage, and is best known for his work as founder and artistic director of the award-winning Beau Jest Moving Theater. Previous directing credits at TAM include “Blithe Spirit,” “A Little Hotel on the Side,” and “Arsenic and Old Lace.”

— “The Year of Magical Thinking,” by Joan Didion; directed by Dawn McAndrews; July 26-Aug. 18.

In this adaptation of her best-selling memoir, Joan Didion presents a lifeaffirming approach to the grief experienced after the death of a loved one. This one-woman play paints a beautiful and insightful portrait of love and loss. Having performed the role to rave reviews at Montpelier’s Lost Nation Theater and Sacramento’s Wilkerson Stage, TAM favorite Janis Stevens por- trays Joan Didion in this emotional journey to acceptance.

Producing artistic director Dawn McAndrews directs “Magical Thinking” in her fourth season with TAM. Appointed by Theater at Monmouth’s Board of Trustees in October 2011, McAndrews looks forward to furthering TAM’s mission of producing innovative approaches to Shakespeare and other classic playwrights for the people of Maine.

Fall Musical

“Patience,” music by Arthur Sullivan, libretto by W.S. Gilbert; directed by Bill Van Horn; Sept. 19-30

The annual Fall Musical is a much-loved collaboration of professional actors and community members.

All the society ladies in the village are in love with two aesthetic poets but the poets are in love with Patience, the village milkmaid, who cares nothing for poetry.

The young ladies’ military suitors see no point to aesthetics but give it a try to win their hearts. Things are touch and go for a while but in the end everyone lands a suitable partner, even if it is only a tulip or lily.

Associate Artistic Director Bill Van Horn returns for his 12th season to direct the Fall Musical and perform in the summer season. Van Horn also frequently acts, directs, and writes for the acclaimed Walnut Street Theater. In 2012, he directed TAM’s “The Glass Menagerie” and appeared as Pernelle in “Tartuffe, Panthino,” and Outlaw in “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” and Falstaff in “Henry IV, Part 1.”

Special events

— 14th Annual Black Fly Follies; June 29 at 7:30 p.m.

Theater at Monmouth’s annual variety show returns featuring the talents of our summer company. Part improv, part cabaret, part hijinks but all fun — join us for an evening of entertainment for everyone.

—“Beatles: The Studio Years 1967-70,” with Mark S. Cartier; July 30 at 7:30 p.m.

TAM favorite Mark S. Cartier recounts the second half of the Fab Four’s career, in this follow-up presentation to last season’s “The Beatlemania Years.” From their growth as singer-songwriters to their multiple innovations in the studio and the diverging interests which lead to the inevitable break-up of the group, leaving in their wake one of the greatest legacies in recording history

—“Tribute to Jazz Sirens,” featuring the Marcia Gallagher Quartet; Aug. 8 at 7:30 p.m.

Marcia Gallagher, vocalist/ pianist, takes us on a journey through the stories and songs of jazz’s greatest female singers, capturing scat lines from Betty Carter and Sarah Vaughan as she sings us through a period in our history rife with gender inequality. “Tribute to Jazz Sirens” honors such greats as Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee, Nina Simone and Lena Horne.

— Write On! Student Playwright Festival; Aug. 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for Summer Repertory shows and the Fall Musical are $30 for opening night, $28 for adults, $25 for senior citizens, and $20 for students.

To reserve single tickets, subscriptions, arrange group sales, or for more information, visit www.theateratmonmouth.org, or call 933-9999.

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