From left, Courtney Thomas as Katie Smalls, Robyne Parrish as Loveday Fortescue, and Joyce Cohen as Valeria Hunter in “The Victorian Ladies’ Detective Collective” at The Public Theatre in Lewiston. Submitted photo

The Victorian Ladies Detective Collective, an entertaining murder mystery with a modern female sensibility, will be staged Nov. 4-13, at The Public Theatre, 31 Maple St. in Lewiston. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4, Saturday, Nov. 5, Thursday, Nov. 10, Friday, Nov. 11, and Saturday, Nov. 12;  with additional performances at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6, 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13.

Is Jack the Ripper at it again? It’s 1893, and there’s a murderer loose in London preying upon single women. Tired of waiting for the men of Scotland Yard to find the murderer, two sisters who run a local boarding home for women, decide to take matters into their own hands. Joining forces with a cheeky American actress, these three determined ladies set off to solve the crime themselves.

“It’s like watching a female Sherlock Holmes story,” says director Christopher Schario. “Set over 400 years ago, this witty play also cleverly addresses many of the same social issues women today are still facing, creating a tale of murder and mayhem for the modern-day woman.”

The Cast of “The Victorian Ladies’ Detective Collective,” from left, is Robyne Parrish, Joyce Cohen, Courtney Thomas and Mathew Zimmerer. Submitted photo

Leading the investigation to find the murderer is Loveday Fortescue played by Robyne Parrish. Parrish is returning for her 6th production at the Public Theatre including “The Revolutionists” and “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” and she recently appeared Off-Broadway in the world premiere of “Strings Attached” as well as in the film “A Man Called Otto” with Tom Hanks.

Playing her sleuthing sister Valeria Hunter is Joyce Cohen. Public Theatre audiences may recognize Cohen from last season’s “Middletown,” and previously in “Humble Boy” and “The Midvale High School Fiftieth Reunion.” She has extensive experience performing on Broadway, in films and was most recently seen Off-Broadway in the world premiere of “This Space Between Us.”

Playing the cheeky American actress Katie Smalls is Courtney Thomas. Thomas has previously appeared at The Public Theatre in “The Book Club Play” as well as Off-Broadway and in regional theatres and is now based in the “other LA.


New to Public Theatre audiences from his career in Arizona is Mathew Zimmerer playing all the juicy male characters in the show including PC Crane, theatrical producer Warham-Wynn and the meat butcher Toddy.

The set for Victorian Ladies is designed by Jennifer B. Madigan, lights by Erin Fauble, costumes by Anne Collins and original music and sound design by Scott O’Brien.

Tickets are $25. For reservations or for more information, call 207-782-3200 or visit

More productions for this season

“Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World” by Yussef El Guindi
March 3-12

A sweet-natured immigrant cab driver and a sassy American waitress navigate love and cultural differences in this smart, funny and thought-provoking romantic comedy.

Anyone who has ever looked for love knows the dilemma. Do you make a safe, sensible match, or risk everything on the unexpected great love of your life? Musa, a sweet-natured immigrant cab driver and semi-practicing Muslim, and Sheri, a sassy American waitress, negotiate the twists and turns of love and cultural differences which draw them together as much as pull them apart. Winner of the Steinberg New American Play Award, don’t miss this smart, funny and thought-provoking romantic comedy.


“Jeeves and Wooster in ‘Perfrect Nonsense'” by The Goodale Brothers
April 21-20

Inspired by P.G. Wodehouse’s hilarious stories of Bertie and his trusted valet Jeeves, this delightfully silly comedy will tickle the funny bone in audiences of all ages.

This delightfully silly comedy will tickle the funny bone in audiences of all ages. Bertie’s friends find his anecdotes so entertaining they’ve suggested he rent a theatre and tell them on stage! Lucky for him, his dependable valet Jeeves is on hand to run the lights, create the scenery, play all the roles and save the day. Inspired by the comic stories of P.G. Wodehouse, and told in the comic style of our production of The Hound of the Baskervilles, don’t miss London’s Olivier Award Winner for Best New Comedy.

“Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical” by Melvin Tunstall, Douglas Lyons & Greg Borowsky
May 19-21

Entertaining family fun for ages 4 and up! This delightful musical combines catchy songs with the clever humor of a Pixar film to tell the empowering story of the first Polkadot student in an all Square school.



Check out other upcoming entertainment events!

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.