FARMINGTON — The Sandy River Players of Farmington are in the final week of rehearsals before presenting “The Rimers of Eldritch,” a play which is the most challenging production for the community theatre group in recent memory.  The two-act play, written by Lanford Wilson, is a “thinking play,” according to co-director Karen West.  “It has powerful lessons and messages that are so relevant in our world today,”  West said. The Players are warning that this is an adult play, with mature language and mature content, comparable to a PG-13 movie.

“The Rimers of Eldritch” will be presented in The Emery Community Art Center on the UMF Campus on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Aug. 11, 12 and 13, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 14 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at DDG Booksellers or by calling 779-7884.

 Each performance will be followed by a panel discussion of the themes of the play.  Audience members who wish to remain after the final curtain can engage with the panel of experts to explore the dark themes of the play, which include  religious hypocrisy, profiling, bullying, and domestic and sexual abuse.  

 “This play is a challenge for both the audience and the performers,” co-director Robin Lisherness said. Lisherness also fills a role in the play.  “Together the cast and production crew have had serious discussions and debates over the subject matter and the characters’ motivations.  This has truly been a developmental process, and we are still striving nightly to understand the themes and translate them to our audience.”

 “Rimers” is set in a small town that is both literally and figuratively crumbling away, and the script is written in a poetic, stream of consciousness style without a realistic chronological order.  “It leads the audience through a maze and causes them to put the pieces of a puzzle together — a puzzle that will only be solved in the last few minutes of the play,” Lishernes said.

 The cast and crew for this community theatre production are truly representative of a community, including a librarian, a minister, several teachers, recent college graduates, a businessman, a retiree, an eighth-grader, a high school senior, a social worker, a fireman and a park attendant.  

“We are fortunate to have such talented and creative people within our community,” West said, whose parents were among the founders of the Sandy River Players.  “We are always proud to present comedies and musicals like our recent “Sound of Music,” but we are also very excited to be presenting a stark and meaningful play that will hopefully lead to some important realizations about community living.”


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