AUBURN – The Out of the Box Theater is a new theater company in town.

Formed over the past three weeks by Stan Spilecki and Linda Britt of Lewiston, it will make its premiere appearance Sept. 12-14 at Auburn Middle School on Court Street.

Spilecki has been mulling over the idea of establishing a new theater for a long time. While he does not believe OOTBT will be in competition with other theaters in the area, he sees competition as healthy and said there is room for everyone.

“We will be doing theater that one wouldn’t necessarily expect to see. … So we are Out of The Box,” Britt said. The logo and name for the theater came from local artist Jeff Soifer and was met with unanimous approval by members of the newly formed company.

The fledging theater does not have a permanent home, so patrons will see its productions at different venues. The theater company will carry its sets wherever it goes.

OOTBT will offer more opportunities for straight shows and take a more creative, artistic and challenging approach with perhaps a different audience in mind, Spilecki said.

Actors will be able to develop characters more deeply, he added.

The theater’s first presentation will be “Americana,” a series of six one-act plays inspired by Norman Rockwell paintings and written by Britt. Two of the plays, “Attic Memories” and “Girl in the Mirror,” were entered in a Rockwell competition in February and featured at a Community Little Theatre membership meeting in March.

Encouraged by the response, Britt wrote the remaining four plays: “The Interloper,” Willie Gillis Goes to College,” “Playbill” and “Thanksgiving.”

Rockwell, known for his portraits of American life, provides a rich source of material for a variety of staged scenes. “The characters he painted seem to step right out of the paintings and onto the page … and then the stage,” Britt said.

“The company … well, it’s fluid and not at all exclusive,” she said. “All of the actors in ‘Americana’ have worked with me before. In fact, some of them asked me to write plays they could be in. There are others who will be involved in the Shakespeare scenes we want to do for our next project. They all love the stage and the words.”

Both Britt and Spilecki have extensive theatrical experience and are well known on the Lewiston-Auburn theater scene. Besides directing adult shows at CLT, Britt has directed or co-directed the Youth Musical Theatre Workshop at CLT for the last four years, having just finished “Seussical, Jr.”

She has written two full-length musicals with her son, Colin, composing “Billionaire Vegans” and “Let Me Count the Ways,” both of which were performed at CLT. Spilecki has been involved either on-stage or back stage in most CLT presentations and with The Public Theatre as well. A writer himself, he is working on a play that will be presented at OOTBT in the near future.

Spilecki found himself immediately immersed in theater after graduating from college in Providence, R.I. His skills in set design and lighting became widely known, and he was solicited by and was kept busy at theaters in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

The couple met 10 years ago at CLT and began dating during “Fiddler on the Roof” for which Colin was musical director and Spilecki played Lazar Wolf in August of 2005. Spilecki and Britt married on New Year’s Day 2007, with a large party of CLT members in attendance.

“The Laramie Project” staged in January of 2008 at CLT was their first collaborative venture as a married couple. She directed and he was set designer. They had worked together previously on several plays. Along with their new project, they will continue their volunteer work at CLT, which they view as an important asset to the community.

The couple share a combined theatrical family. Britt’s children grew up on the CLT stage. Colin is now a graduate student at Yale. Sydney had the lead in “Thoroughly Modern Millie” at music camp in Orono. Spilecki’s daughters, Rachel and Becca, are regular performers. Rachel is a theatre/history major at Suffolk University in Boston and Becca is in drama at Lewiston High School.

Performances of “Americana” will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 12-13, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, at Auburn Middle School. Suggested donations are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors. For more information, call 784-0903.


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