LEWISTON — The Public Theatre’s reputation for producing exciting new plays continues with its 2017-18 season, featuring an assortment of recent Off-Broadway hits and new scripts. The upcoming selection of plays also features a strong emphasis on female characters and their stories, making a season worthy of many a great girls’-night-out adventures, Public Theatre Artistic Director Christopher Schario said.
A burst of pre-season excitement happens the last weekend in September when the theatre hosts the Manhattan Short Film Festival, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29, 30 and Oct 1. Being selected as a venue for the festival is an honor and a delightful tribute to the theater’s history as a movie house. This exciting festival will feature 10 short films from around the world seen in one viewing. These same films will be shown to audiences around the globe within the same week and voting ballots from audiences around the world will be totaled to decide the winner. An entry in the 2015 festival went on to win the Oscar in the short film category, so this is a must-see event for all film lovers.
The theater’s season officially begins Oct. 20 through 29 with “The Revolutionists,” a thrilling, timely and intelligent new comedy. Playwright Lauren Gunderson is considered to be one of the most exciting young voices writing for theater today. In her passionate and provocative new girl-powered comedy, four beautiful, badass women are reimagined as the heroes of the French Revolution. Think Tina Fey and gal pals in big wigs and corsets. Smart, sassy and inspiring, watch these women turn HIS-tory into HER-story!
In addition to the theater’s highly successful free pre-show wine-tasting “Wine-Down Thursday” (courtesy of Rails Restaurant and The Vault), the theater will launch “Opening Night BREWHaHa” on the opening night of “The Revolutionists.” Opening Night BREWHaHa will feature a free pre-show beer sampling, courtesy of Baxter Brewing on the first performance of all plays in the subscription series.
Next up, Nov. 10 through 19, will be Maine writer Elizabeth Peavey starring in her play “My Mother’s Clothes are not My Mother.” The Public Theatre recently received a grant from The National Endowment for The Arts to collaborate on an exciting new version of this heartfelt and humorous story that won the 2013 Maine Literary Award for Drama.
When Elizabeth’s mother passed away, she was faced with the dilemma of figuring out what to do with her mother’s “stuff”. And, so began a funny and poignant journey that took her both forward and backwards in time from childhood to caregiver, as she sorted through the contents and memories of a life with and without her mother. Peavey’s powerful story for grown-up children about loving and letting go has been attracting sold-out houses and performed to standing ovations for the past six years.
The holiday season is ushered in with The Public Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of “A Christmas Carol,” Dec. 8, 9, 10. Rediscover the magic of theater, when six actors and a fiddler perform the Dickens’ out of this classic story.
Public Theatre will ring in the new year and shake off the winter blues with “Fly Me to the Moon,” Jan. 26 through Feb. 4. Imagine “I Love Lucy” meets “Thelma and Louise;” it’s nonstop laughter when two Irish home-care nurses attempt to get rich quick and wind up in a hilarious series of misadventures when their elderly patient is found – or isn’t found – dead.
The arrival of spring brings the Maine premiere of “Marjorie Prime,” March 16 through 25. This Pulitzer Prize finalist is a mesmerizing sci-fi reminder about our irreplaceable need for love and connection. With the help of artificial intelligence, an elderly woman gets a handsome and younger version of her deceased husband back to keep her company. But is this really what she wants? This fascinating and powerful play explores the mystery of memory, our longing for connection, and the limits of what and who technology can replace.
New love blooms May 4 through 13 in the Maine premiere of “The Midvale High School 50th Reunion.” This charming new romantic comedy discovers how revisiting your past can change your future when a high school reunion unexpectedly turns an old friend into a new love.
The season ends on May 20 with a special production from the Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers called “Everybody Loves Pirates.” Certain to delight children ages 4 and up, this show features a gang of bumbling pirates who foil the plans of Lobster Boy, his reluctant sidekick Crabby, and an overgrown sea monkey. The Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers have received three Citations of Excellence from Union Internationale de la Marionnette – USA, the highest national award in puppetry.
Season subscriptions are currently on sale. Individual tickets, gift certificates, morning school-day student matinee performances and group rates (for parties of 10 or more) are available for all productions. Individual tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for anyone 18 and under. For more information or show times visit www.thepublictheatre.org or call 782-3200. The Public Theatre’s address is 31 Maple St.
Maine writer Elizabeth Peavey in a scene from her play, “My Mother’s Clothes are Not my Mother.” Public Theatre and Peavey are collaborating on a new version of the popular, heartfelt drama about an adult childen dealing with loving and letting go. The production will be staged from Nov. 10 through 19.