BELFAST, Maine — Larraine Brown loves animals and thinks that people can do a little bit more for them. That’s why she is staging a special production of the play “Sylvia” next weekend, with an ultimate goal of raising $10,000 for the P.A.W.S. Animal Adoption Center in Rockport, which is the shelter for the city of Belfast and many other area communities.
She described the play as a “comic masterpiece” that is about the effect that a stray dog, Sylvia, has on a middle-class couple that takes her in.
“It truly is so funny,” Brown, who is on the board of directors of the animal shelter, said this week. “It’s the funniest script I’ve ever read, and I’ve read thousands of scripts.”
Those who come to see “Sylvia” can expect to laugh as they watch the four-person cast of gifted local actors on stage at the Belfast Boathouse. They also should expect to be part of an experience that will include an animal art sale before each show and an animal adoption event on Saturday. People from P.A.W.S. will bring cats and kittens, and possibly a dog, to be adopted by a local family from 10 a.m to noon Saturday.
“We have a terribly difficult feral cat problem in the state,” Brown said. “We have to get together as a community to solve the problems that we’ve created.”
She said she has been thankful for the community support she’s already seen for the event. The Belfast Maskers have donated the use of their stage, the city of Belfast is letting the actors use the boathouse for free, and Waterfall Arts is letting the group use its space to rehearse. Also, local businesses including Coyote Moon have helped to underwrite the performances.
“I think Belfast is a wonderful community,” she said. “Everyone is giving — it takes that. What you can do is come and enjoy the show, and buy some animal art.”
Brown said that P.A.W.S. is planning to expand by building a new animal adoption center that will double the space it currently has. The new building will include dedicated wings for cats and dogs and modern facilities to help keep the animals healthy while they wait to be adopted.
“I can’t write a check for $5,000 or $10,000, but I can do this,” she said of directing the benefit play. “It’s a fundraiser. It’s a community gift.”
“Sylvia” will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, and Saturday, Oct. 27, with a 3 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Oct. 27. All performances will be at the Belfast Boathouse, and tickets are $20 and available in Belfast at the Loyal Biscuit, The Colonial Theatre, City Drawers and Left Bank Books. They’re also available in Camden at Harbor Audio Video.
Strong sexual language and content make the play not suitable for children, Brown said.