NORWAY — Nancy Marcotte will discuss the accomplishments of the Pennesseewassee Players, a theatrical organization that produced plays from the 1940s until 1960, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 18, at the Norway Historical Society.

Dubbed the Penny Players, the troupe played an important role in the cultural landscape of the area until television kept people at home and audiences dwindled. The historical society will also exhibit programs and photos from the organization’s various performances.

Marcotte is a teacher of art history and media arts at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. Growing up, she developed an interest in the Penny Players when she attended Paris and Norway schools and participated in their drama activities. Today she designs sets and costumes for the high school drama club and the school/community Broadway shows.

The Penny Players began a rich tradition of producing two plays each year in the Norway Opera House. The group also produced one acts, toured shows and hosted Maine small theater conventions. Participants wrote about the enjoyment and pride they got from their hard work. The organization established a standard of excellence with its elaborate sets and costumes. Some set pieces were even painted professionally in Boston.

“They performed at a sophisticated level and chose a wide variety of plays from comedies to Shakespeare,” said Marcotte. Names of some of the actors in old Penny Players programs are familiar local family names.

The society encourages people to come and tell stories about the organization and share any photos or programs they may have. The society is located at the corner of Whitman and Main streets. Refreshments will be served following the presentation.


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