SOUTH PORTLAND — Mad Horse Theatre Company is busy developing inventive virtual content to connect with, entertain and stimulate the community. As days get shorter and the air gets colder, exciting and interesting virtual events become even more important. For November, Mad Horse Theatre Company is back with their popular BY LOCAL series, a November Artist Chit Chats and two L.A. Theatre Works streaming options.

Sundays, Nov. 15 and 22, at 7 p.m.

BY LOCAL is back with a reading of “Waiting for Alice” by Mad Horse Company member, Allison McCall. The BY LOCAL format consists of two readings which allows the playwright to make script changes based on hearing the reading and audience feedback. Each reading will be followed by audience feedback and discussion with the playwright. It is a lively, fascinating look at the creative process. The event is free, but donations are appreciated.  To sign up for these readings, visit madhorse.com.

“Waiting for Alice” explores the question: what happens at the Mad Tea Party before Alice arrives … or does she ever? The Mad Hatter, March Hare and Dormouse are occasionally joined by the Cheshire Cat while they entertain themselves around their tea table, forever stuck at 6 o’clock. Originally written for PortFringe 2015, the initial idea came from a conversation with young actors during a rehearsal of “Alice in Wonderland.” “Waiting for Alice” delves into the urgency behind rituals and investigates Carroll’s “Wonderland” through an absurdist lens inspired by Beckett and Ionesco. This event features company member Mark Rubin and guest artists Jared Mongeau, Erica Murphy and Darby Defilippis, and is directed by guest artist Lauren Stockless.

McCall has been a member of Mad Horse Theatre Co. since 2015. On-stage credits include The Effect (Connie), Radiant Vermin (Jill), The Tomb of King Tot (Tot/Atlanta), Reasons to be Pretty (Carly), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Rachel Jackson), Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play (Maria/Scratchy), Trevor (Ashley), Lysistrata (Myrrhine), Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Hadia). Other local credits include Good Theater, Fenix Theater Co., director and costume coordinator for Crowbait Club’s annual King of Crows festival, PortFringe and various film projects.

She is also an occasional stage manager, director and painter, and an occasional playwright (“Waiting for Alice,” “Icarus” and “Daedalus”). Allison holds a BA in theater and art history from Muhlenberg College, studied Performance Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, and is represented by Dirigo Talent Agency. By day, McCall teaches theater education with the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine, or is simply off climbing mountains.

Friday, Nov. 20, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Continuing with the winning format, Mad Horse Theatre will hold its third Artist Chit Chat, hosted by McCall. November artists include Gibson Leblanc, writer; Callie Kimball, playwright; Jared Mongeau, clown, performer, designer; Veeva Banga, dancer; Bear Claw Billie, musician and comedian; and Myles Bullen, rapper.

The Artist Chit Chat features seven-minute presentations from an eclectic mix of local artists followed by lively discussion. This event is free. Sign up by visiting www.madhorse.com.

Ongoing through Tuesday, Dec. 15

LA Theatre Works is sharing their archive with theaters around the country. Mad Horse Theatre has selected two works to share with the Mad Horse audience: “MoFo with the Hat” and “Behind the Sheet” from LA Theatre Works.

The links are available at madhorse.com. Each link will take you to streaming audio you can play on your phone or desktop. Just click on the link and hit play. No password is required. Listening parties will be scheduled in December for those who would like to listen with a group and discuss the plays.

L.A. Theatre Works (LATW) was founded in 1974 to give voice to underrepresented groups, bring attention to new plays and playwrights, and produce plays that address critical historical, cultural and social issues. In the 1990s, LATW embraced audio recording in lieu of conventional theatrical presentation. Today, LATW is the nation’s leading producer of audio theater. It produces world classics, modern masterpieces, contemporary and original works that speak to the issues of the times.

“The Motherf**ker with the Hat” is a 2011 play by Stephen Adly Guirgis. The show is described as “a high-octane verbal cage match about love, fidelity and misplaced haberdashery.”

Guirgis is an American playwright, screenwriter, director and actor. He is a member and a former co-artistic director of New York City’s LAByrinth Theater Company. His plays have been produced both Off-Broadway and on Broadway as well as in the UK. His play “Between Riverside and Crazy” won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Behind the Sheet by Charly Evon Simpson

In 1840s Alabama, Dr. George Barry is on the verge of a miraculous cure: treatment for fistulas, a common but painful complication of childbirth. To achieve his medical breakthrough, Barry performs experimental surgeries on a group of enslaved women afflicted with the condition. Based on the true story of Dr. J. Marion Sims, the “father of modern gynecology,” “Behind the Sheet” remembers the forgotten women who made his achievement possible, and the pain they endured in the process.

Charly Evon Simpson’s plays include “Jump” and “form of a girl unknown.” Her work has been seen and/or developed with many theaters throughout the country. Simpson was recently named the 2019-20 recipient of the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award from the Vineyard Theatre, co-recipient of the Dramatists Guild’s Lanford Wilson Award, was nominated for the Outer Critics Circle’s John Gassner Award, and had two of her plays on the 2019 Kilroys List. She’s currently a core writer at The Playwrights’ Center, a member of The New Georges Jam and Primary Stages’ Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group, and will be a resident of New Dramatists in the fall of 2021. Simpson is also a TV writer, working on shows for Showtime and HBO.

Mad Horse Theatre Company looks forward to remaining connected to the Maine theater audience and community during this challenging time. Support the arts in Maine. Consider donating to Mad Horse Theatre Company and its virtual programming by visiting madhorse.com/contribute. To connect with Mad Horse Theatre Company, visit www.madhorse.com or Facebook, Mad Horse Theatre Company; Twitter, https://twitter.com/madhorsetheatre; or send an email to [email protected]

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