Pittsfield organization to celebrate first year

Posted Jan. 20, 2010, at 11:05 p.m.

PITTSFIELD, Maine — The touching travails of a mother and son will take the stage Saturday as part of a community fundraiser to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the First Universalist Church’s Welcome Table.

Marie Cormier of Oakland and Evan Sposato of Pittsfield will perform French-Canadian playwright Michel Tremblay’s “For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again.”

Cormier, a well-traveled actress who has performed the play numerous times in both French and English, said it never fails to delight audiences.

“In Canada they say a new play by Michel Tremblay is like a fresh tablet from Moses,” said Cormier, who is of French-Canadian descent. “It’s very funny, and it has some very, very touching and tender moments. It’s just fun to watch a mother and son having those moments together.”

The play is being produced in celebration of the Pittsfield Welcome Table’s one-year anniversary. The Welcome Table, run by a group of volunteers from the First Universalist Church, offers a free meal every Friday at the church to whoever wants it. A different community organization signs up to provide the meal each Friday, which volunteer Trudy Ferland said makes the Welcome Table more than just a program of the church. Hosting organizations have ranged from General Electric to local Girl Scout troops to other churches.

“It’s a true community effort,” she said. “We’re acknowledging and thanking all the folks who have helped us this year.”

To that end, a reception will be held before the play for everyone who helped provide a meal in 2009. The play, which is open to the public, begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23, at the First Universalist Church on Easy Street in Pittsfield. Tickets are $10 at the door. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Welcome Table and the church’s Auditorium Ceiling Restoration Fund.

Ferland said that after its first year, the Welcome Table is “going strong” with heavy participation most Fridays by both diners and volunteer cooks. In addition to a hot, healthful midday meal, the Welcome Table provides an important social outlet for Pittsfield-area people who don’t have many opportunities for outings.

“Everything about it works so well,” said Ferland. “It’s really been a fabulous program.”

Cormier said the one-night-only play benefits from the keen eye of director Doree Austin of Vassalboro and Sposato, who is no stranger to live theater. Cormier said there is something special about the mother-son relationship she and Sposato have created.

“It flows very smoothly,” she said. “We just respond to each other so well.”

Sposato agreed.

“It’s about how they grow in their relationship and through both of their faults,” he said. “It’s something I think every parent and every child can relate to.”

For more information about the Welcome Table or to pre-order tickets, call Ferland at 487-6523.

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