The 38th summer season of the Acadia Repertory Theatre in Somesville on Mount Desert Island is off to a wild start.
“Our two shows running right now — ‘Shipwrecked!’ in the evening and ‘Peter Pantomime’ on Wednesday and Saturday mornings — have a similar kind of crazy energy,” artistic director Cheryl Willis said in a recent release. “We knew they were both perfect pieces of summer theatre, but we didn’t realize when we chose the plays for this season how well these two would complement each other: ‘Shipwrecked!’ is grown-up theatre that kids enjoy, and ‘Peter Pantomime’ is children’s theatre that grown-ups enjoy.”
“Shipwrecked! The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont” (as told by himself) is the theatrical tale of Victorian British celebrity Louis de Rougement, who became famous for his fantastic tales of his adventures while marooned in the South Seas. When he was revealed to have made most of it up, he was disgraced. The play is a Robinson Crusoe-style adventure story that is also a meditation on the power of imagination and the importance of storytelling. The story is told by five actors with a stage full of props, live sound effects, shadow puppets and more, and “appeals to the 9-year-old in all of us,” according to producing director Andrew Mayer. ‘Shipwrecked!’ runs at 8:15 p.m. through Saturday July 17, with a special closing matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday July 18.
“Peter Pantomime,” adapted by Cheryl Willis in the EnglishpPantomime tradition, is not your grandparents’ Peter Pan. General buffoonery, song and dance, cross-dressing performers and all-out silliness make for a morning of antic hilarity, but the familiar story of Peter Pan, Wendy, Captain Hook, Smee and Tinklebell is present, as well.
“Our children’s shows have to be at least as entertaining for the adults in the crowd as for the kids. The last thing you want at a children’s show is a restless adult,” Willis said.
“Peter Pantomime” runs every 10:30 a.m.Wednesday and Saturday, through Aug. 28.
The Acadia Rep offers season subscriptions at a 25 percent savings. For more information, call the box office at 244-7260, or visit at www.acadiarep.com.