Austin Frederick, Jonas Maines, Tim Davis, Katie Kirwan, Jennifer Beloin, Michaela Carney and Sarah Carnahan (front) SUBMITTED PHOTO

FARMINGTON The UMF Emery Community Arts Center on the University of Maine at Farmington campus is presenting John Cariani’s “Last Gas” at the Emery Performance Space on Friday, May 17 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19 at 2 p.m.

Directed by Gavin Pickering, UMF mental health counselor, “Last Gas” tells the story of a community in Northern Maine and a gas station – the last gas station before hitting Canada. The main character, Nat, has taken over the business from his dad, Dwight. Nat is an incredibly unhappy guy, stuck in a life he isn’t sure he wants, and desperate to “get back to happy.” When an old fling comes back for her mom’s funeral, Nat thinks this could be the change he is looking for. The play made its debut at Portland Stage in 2010.

Pickering is a Northern Maine native whose grandfather and great grandfather owned gas stations both on the Maine/Canada border in Western Maine and in Northern Maine near Lincoln. He is a UMF alum with an undergraduate degree in Secondary Education and a minor in theatre. He received his master’s in both School Counseling and Mental Health Counseling from UMaine.

Pickering has performed in shows at UMF and community theaters around the state. He has directed educational theatre at UMF and UMaine and has also directed multiple shows in the area including “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at Sparrow’s Nest Theatre and “Small Mouth Sounds” at Emery Community Arts Center. He is excited to be able to continue working with such a talented group of people in the best part of Maine.

“I first saw this show at Penobscot Theatre in 2011, and was inspired by a play that felt so close to home. To choose between staying and fulfilling family obligations, or leaving to make a new and better life is one of the hardest decisions to make,” said Pickering.

The cast is made up of local community members who bring these complex Maine characters to life. And features: Jonas Maines, Sarah Carnahan, Austin Frederick, Tim Davis, Katie Kirwan, Michaela Carney and Jennifer Beloin.

Tickets are: Adults: $15; Students/Seniors: $10 (Venmo and cash at the door, or purchase online at performance website.)

The Emery Arts Center is located on Academy St. (between Main St. and High St.) in downtown Farmington. For more information contact Ann Bartges, director of UMF Emery Community Arts Center at or 207-778-7461.

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