PORTLAND – The Stone Pinhead Ensemble is staging “The Pecking Order,” a new play about the balance of power in contemporary America, through Feb. 15. The production is at the St. Lawrence Arts and Community Center, 66-76 Congress St.

In the play, co-written by novelist, playwright and screenwriter Brent Askari and ensemble founder J.T. Nichols, a group of obscenely rich businessmen known as the Birders’ Society hatches a plan to eliminate the middle class from society.

At the same time two teenaged girls from opposite sides of the tracks decide to switch roles to see how the other half lives, and an army of middle-class rebels attempts to overturn the evil plots of the Birders.

This is the first collaboration for Nichols, the author of several past Pinhead productions including last year’s “Cult.”

The Stone Pinhead Ensemble is a loosely organized amalgam of professional and amateur theater people from Portland and beyond whose members are committed to producing lively, original, thought-provoking plays and musicals. The cast ranges in age from 12 to 60-something.

“The Pecking Order,” recommended for mature audiences, will be performed at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; at 2 p.m. Sunday. Call 775-5568.

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