Acorn Productions, a non-profit organization dedicated to nurturing and developing the Southern Maine community of performing artists, has selected the scripts for this year's twelfth annual Maine Playwrights Festival (MPF).
The authors whose works are featured in this year's event include a number of newcomers to the MPF as well as a number of returning playwrights, many of whom have had scripts included in multiple editions of the state's largest incubator for new plays by local playwrights. The 2013 edition of the MPF includes a staged reading of a ful-length play, two evenings of short plays in rotating repertory, the return of the popular "Take Two" evening of two-minute plays, expanded to include monologues this year, and yet another adrenhaline-filled 24-Hour Portland Theater Project. The list of selected plays and playwrights, along with a short description of each piece, appears below. Performances of the MPF take place at the St. Lawrence Arts Center from April 25 to May 5, 2013.
Over the course of the last eleven years, the Maine Playwrights Festival has presented hundreds of scripts and dozens of staged reading at a number of venues in the Greater Portland area. The plays are selected each season by an open call that is issued in the fall, and any Maine-based playwright may submit their work. Acorn received over 75 submissions for this year's festival, and the final list of selections was created by a reading committee comprised of USM Faculty Member Assunta Kent, Dramatic Repertory Company's Artistic Director Keith Powell Beyland, and Acorn's Producing Director Michael Levine.
The MPF not only showcases the talents of many local playwrights, but also the craft of directors and actors from many different theater companies in the area. This year's edition of the MPF features a number of guest directors from the community who join Acorn's Producing Director Michael Levine in bringing these world premiere pieces to life. This year's MPF directors are Al D'Andrea, Artistic Director of Snowlion Repertory Company, Wil Kilroy, USM Theater Professor, Michael Rafkin, director, actor, and playwright, Liz Rollins, director, actress & educator, Reba Short, Artistic Director of the Children's Theater of Maine, and Ella Wrenn, Company Manager at Portland Stage Company. Acorn is currently finalizing the cast and production calendar for this year's festival, and a complete schedule will be available in mid-March.
DESCRIPTION OF ALL MPF PLAYS
FULL LENGTH PLAY (staged reading)
WANT/NOT, by Cullen McGough
Stranded in a trailer park on the edge of Cape Canaveral, and wrapped up in a complicated affair with her space-nut father-in-law, ElLen Mackenzie is torn between the needs of her young daughter and the needs of her heart.
RADICALS, by Carolyn Gage
Sexual tensions fuse with political agendas as women in the anti-Vietnam War movement cross minefields of repressed emotion, and the action builds to a violent climax as the war comes home.
CAT SCRATCH, by Megan Tripaldi
A woman and her beau discuss the annoyances of owning a cat that plots against you
DATE NIGHT AT AL'S BAR AND GRILL, by Dan Hadley
A comic look at speed dating through the lens of two people who are initially reluctant participants
DELESTAGE, by Delvyn Case
A young man and his wife take desperate actions with potential life-threatening consequences to save their lives and family in the deprivation of the Democratic Republic of Congo
HOLLY BELLE, by Sarah Paget
A woman who is stuck in her grief encounters someone who is proof personified that life goes on and one can choose to live in the moment
JANEY SUCCUMBS TO POLAR MADNESS, by Michael Kimball
After spending a 6-month polar night secluded in an Arctic lab, a climate scientist and a polar bear expert make a grim discovery
MEMORIES OF PARADISE, by Bruce Pratt
Two men who have known one another since high school discover the limits of what one friend can say to another
ROPE TRICK, by Michael Tooher
Two characters in a play attempt to escape an overbearing playwright
SLUNKER FISH, by Roger Clark Van Deusen
Two fishermen discuss their relationship to their catch
STEL, by Charlie Cole
Sometimes breaking up happens a little bit at a time