PORTLAND – Mad Horse Theatre Company’s Dark Night Series II – “The Actor’s Nightmare” and “Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You,” by Christopher Durang – will open Monday, Jan. 26.

“The Actor’s Nightmare” is inspired by the dream familiar to many performing artists – suddenly appearing in a play that they have inexplicably never rehearsed and for which they know neither the lines nor the plot. “The Actor’s Nightmare” is directed by Mad Horse company member Craig Bowden.

“Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You” revolves around a nun, sister Mary Ignatius, who explains to the audience the basic tenets of Catholicism. Durang, whose Catholic upbringing included attending Catholic grammar and high schools, wrote this sharply satiric play in response to the bewildering complexity of the dogma he was taught as a child. “Sister Mary Ignatius” is directed by Mad Horse Associate Artistic Director Peter Brown,

The Dark Night Series derives its title from a theatrical term referring to evenings when a theater company isn’t performing – when the theater is literally dark. Dark Night Series productions will be presented at the Portland Stage Company Studio Theater on the nights when regular Mad Horse productions are between performances: Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. By taking advantage of these dark nights, Mad Horse is able to present plays with a low admission price, as well as give its artists the freedom to pursue projects without regard for commercial potential.

Dark Night Series II will be presented at 7:30 p.. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 26-Feb 4, at theater at Portland Stage Company, 25A Forest Ave. Admission is pay what you can. Suggested donation: $10.

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