PORTLAND – The Two Lights Theatre Ensemble will perform a drama about domestic violence at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 16 and 17. Titled “Dreams of Elysia,”the play will be staged at the St. Lawrence Arts and Community Center, 76 Congress St.

Co-sponsored by Family Crisis Services and the University of Southern Maine’s Women’s Resource Center, the play is written and directed by Portland playwright Sean Demers.

“Dreams of Elysia” places the audience as a witness to what is possibly the last day in the life of a woman who is struggling between helplessness and self-determination against her life of domestic abuse. With her husband comatose following a workplace accident, Elysia struggles with feelings of love and hate toward him. Her helplessness pushes her to suicidal thoughts and even into the arms of another man, Isidore.

The work is a combination of expressionistic and existential styles which helps the audience understand the fragility of Elysia’s mind.

“Dreams of Elysia” is a multiple art-forms performance. It uses visual projections featuring the photography of local artist Pete Acorn, video recordings including rehearsal footage, and moving portions of the set by Jerome Wills.

It features music by local composer and Two Lights’ composer-in-residence Travis Ramsey. This work will involve dance and movement as well as utilizing the Energize! holistic acting techniques developed for the stage by Two Lights’ President Emmanuelle Chaulet. The costumes and abstract choreography are designed by Patience Goodwin of Portland.

“Dreams of Elysia” is Demers’ first full-length play. Demers, who grew up in New Hampshire, has worked primarily as an actor. He has appeared locally as Daniel in the American premiere of “La Promise,” in “Les Acadiens” and “Anne of Green Gables” with the Children’s Theatre of Maine, and most recently as Dennis in “Loot” with Good Theater. He has also “Lost in Yonkers” with the Dionysian Theater and “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” with his own company, Park Players.

His film credits include “Get Outta Here,” the recent “Empire Falls” with HBO Films and “The Devil’s Trials,” a Salem witch trial documentary to air on the History Channel in October.

Tickets are $12 for general admission, $8 for seniors and $6 for students. For reservations, people may call 839-9819.


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