Mad Horse Theatre Company pays tribute to one of America's greatest playwrights, while recognizing many of Maine's premier performing artists, with A SIX PACK OF MILLER, running April 2-14 at the Mad Horse Theater at The Hutchins Schoolhouse, 24 Mosher Street, South Portland.
Six of Arthur Miller's best-loved works will be performed as staged readings for two nights each, over a course of two weeks. Over 60 artists, ranging in age from 13 to 75 years old, will bring the powerful language of these plays to life.
Directors of each production are:
Keith Powell Beyland (Dramatic Repertory Company) THE PRICE, April 2 & 3
Hollye Seddon (STAGES Academy) ALL MY SONS, April 4 & 5
John Hickson (Portland Players) DEATH OF A SALESMAN, April 6 & 7
James Hoban (American Renaissance Theatre) AFTER THE FALL, April 9 & 10
Christopher Price (The Theatre Project) A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE, April 11 & 12
Christine Louise Marshall (Mad Horse Theatre Company) THE CRUCIBLE, April 13 & 14
"We are excited to be working with so many talented people who represent the breadth and depth of the Maine theater scene," says Christine Louise Marshall, Artistic Director of Mad Horse Theatre Company. "With the sheer volume of productions these people are regularly committed to, it is often hard to arrange schedules to enable us to work with them on fully staged productions, which can involve a commitment of six to ten weeks. With these readings, we can work around schedule conflicts, while getting the opportunity to hear Miller's language spoken by some of the best talent Maine has to offer."
The idea for the readings came to Marshall as she struggled with scheduling the current season. Several actors who had signed on to work on the slated production of ALL MY SONS developed conflicts, which led Marshall to look for alternatives. At the same time, she read about a critically-acclaimed series of Miller readings at L.A. Theatre Works, and began to wonder if a similar format could work right here.
"What began as an obstacle became an opportunity," Marshall states. "I began to recognize that choosing one Miller play to produce, out of all of his plays, had been tough for me - I have such affection for them all. And here was an opportunity to produce, in staged-reading form, half a dozen of them, and with such terrific actors voicing iconic characters like Willie Loman, John Procter, Abigail Wiliams and Eddie Carbone. The people working on this are just wonderful. Many of them, too, have done narration or radio and television voiceover work, so they have an innate understanding of how to effectively deliver the material. I'm so grateful to the artists, including our production and stage managers who have signed on for this ride!"
Audience talkbacks will be part of the productions. Marshall is still interested in staging a fully-produced Miller play in an upcoming season. Talkbacks will allow audiences to weigh in on their favorite plays, and share their thoughts on hearing some of the playwright's lesser-known works alongside the classics.
To enable people to attend as many readings as possible, Mad Horse is offering a special ticket price of $10 per performance. A Miller Pass for all six readings is also available for the incredibly low price of $30.
"If you come to them all," states Marshall, "I'll personally buy you a six pack--of Miller!"
For information and reservations, visit the Mad Horse Website www.madhorse.com or call the Box Office at 730-2389.