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Words in play: ‘Not Famous (yet)’ turns readings upside down

Tom Groening | BDN
Tom Groening | BDN
The "Not Famous (yet)" players are Eddie Adelman (from left), Danielle Bannister and Robin Jones. The group will read and perform Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Belfast.
By Tom Groening, BDN Staff

BELFAST, Maine — The “Not Famous (yet)” players have a simple goal for their Nov. 3 performance at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Belfast. It’s to entertain, “with a capital E,” as Eddie Adelman put it.

Adelman and his cohorts Danielle Bannister and Robin Jones are writers, but the evening will not resemble the traditional poetry or prose reading, they promise.

“Our goal in doing this is more about entertainment than art and culture,” Adelman said. “The writing is the meat and potatoes of the night, but what people are going to leave with is the comedy and the entertainment.”

Adelman, who lives in Belfast, is a screenwriter, playwright and essayist who has worked in Hollywood. His essays have been heard on MPBN Radio, one of which won The Associated Press Award for Writing in Broadcast Journalism in 1999. His 2005 sitcom pilot was a top-10 finalist on the Bravo Network’s TV series “Situation: Comedy.” Adelman’s one-act play “Mansion on the Hill” was performed by The Belfast Maskers community theater last spring and recently was turned into a short film.

Bannister, of Searsmont, is a novelist whose “Pulled” was a quarterfinalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award earlier this year. She also writes short stories, with work appearing in the 2012 edition of the Goose River Anthology. She also has acted in productions by The Lakewood Theater, The Portland Players and The Belfast Maskers.

Robin Jones is a stand-up comic and actor, now living in Stockton Springs. He has performed at comedy clubs throughout the country, including The Comedy Workshop in Houston and The Comedy Store in Los Angeles. Jones also has worked with comedians such as Larry David and Zach Galifanakis. Locally, he has directed at New Surry Theater in Blue Hill and acted with Belfast Maskers Community Theater.

Though the three cherish writing, they have planned an interactive performance featuring themselves and others that will skewer the staid poetry reading format.

Scenes will be played for drama and comedy, and there will be formal reading components to the show, but the trio hope sparks will fly when, as Bannister explained it, they take the readings “and kick it up to 11.”

Jones will act as a master of ceremonies. But as he said, his real function is less gracious: “I bring the irreverence.”

Jones also says he hopes to share his work.

“I have a lot of bad poetry,” he deadpanned. Not free verse, he admitted, but stolen verse.

The tagline on the poster for the event sets the tone: “Catch them now before they become famous, move to L.A. and lead empty, narcissistic lives.”

The performance by The “Not Famous (yet)” players will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted to offset the cost of using the church, which is at 37 Miller St.

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