Linda Britt has been an assistant director, producer, actor and playwright with Lewiston/Auburn’s Community Little Theatre. And now, she adds the title of director to her resume as she launches a production of Larry Shue’s, “The Foreigner” in CLT’s first show of the new year.

“I submitted two shows (for consideration) with lots of reasons,” said Britt, who is very excited about the upcoming production.

“I’m a Southerner from North Carolina and the show’s setting in rural Georgia recalls home, from the references to grits and the Southern accents. I was comfortable with the script.”

“The Foreigner” is set in a rural fishing lodge run by Betty Meeks (played by Janet Gibson). Charlie Baker (Keith Anctil) is dropped off at the lodge by his friend, Froggy (Jason Pelletier), who has to leave on business for a few days. To cover up for Charlie’s shyness, Froggy creates an outrageous story that Charlie is from a foreign country and cannot speak English.

The humor of the show results from a series of over-the-top characters that confide, cajole and harass Charlie, thinking that he’s simply a “foreigner” who can’t understand much of anything. The audience is in on the gimmick and the laughs are nonstop.

The cast is rounded out by Roger Philippon, playing Owen Musser, a true redneck; Nathan White, playing Ellard Sim, a dim-witted youth; and Marcel Dubois, playing Reverend Lee, a Southern preacher.

Kristin Boucher will appear as Catherine Simms, the preacher’s young fiancé.

“The show is very funny … also I think it has real important messages hidden behind the accents and beyond the expectations that people have of themselves,” said Britt. “It also teaches us … there’s a message there that we shouldn’t be so afraid of things that are foreign to us.”

Besides pretending that he doesn’t understand English, the Charlie Baker character also speaks a language of his own. “It’s “foreign-ese,” said Britt, trying to described the oddity. “Charlie is really a British science fiction magazine editor, not a foreigner. In one little speech there’s German, Spanish, Slavic and Russian combined with his own science fiction (terminology).”

While reflecting on her directorial debut, Britt admits that the experience has been a pleasant one. “I had more fun than I expected because of the great cast. We had a blast during rehearsals. I can’t say how happy I am with the cast and crew.”

Production staff includes Amy Feeley, assistant director; Doreen Traynor, producer; Richard Martin, mentor; Ellen Peters, improv consult; Dee Pratt, stage manager; Penny Appleby, costumer; Eileen Messina, makeup; Ray Seigler, sound; Richard Martin, lighting; Bill Hamilton, set; Paula Masselli, props; Karen Mayo, decor; Celeste Philippon, program; and Rachel Morin, publicity.


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