Collins Center for the Arts Executive Director Danny Williams offered up a sneak preview of one of the shows to be included in the upcoming announcement of the center’s 2014-2015 season. The CCA will welcome the kickoff performance of the national tour of Stephen King and John Mellencamp’s musical “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County” to its stage in early November.
Williams said the musical, with a libretto by King, music and lyrics by Mellencamp and production assistance from T-Bone Burnett, will hold technical rehearsals for the tour for the four or five days leading up to the two performances at the CCA. The first night of the show will be the CCA’s gala opening for this year’s season.
“It’s an incredibly exciting thing for us and for the region in general, as synonymous as we are with Stephen King,” said Williams. “We’re lucky enough to be the first stop on their national tour.”
“Ghost Brothers of Darkland County” is described as a “southern Gothic” musical, centering on two brothers who hate each other who are forced by their father to spend the night in a haunted cabin, where they are visited by the ghosts of two brothers who also hate each other. Mellencamp’s music draws on blues, country and rock, and King’s story brings in familiar elements of the supernatural and American family struggle.
The musical had its premiere at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta in April 2012, and had a 20-city tour of the Midwest and South in the fall of 2013. A soundtrack album featuring musicians including Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello, Kris Kristofferson and Neko Case was released in June 2013. This tour will be the musical’s first national tour. Tickets and exact dates and showtimes for the Orono performances will be announced later this summer.
The new season also will bring more changes at the Collins Center for the Arts. On the heels of the announcement that Williams, a former University of Maine Foundation officer, was named executive director of the arts facility back in March, Williams confirmed Friday that associate director Adele Adkins would also be leaving her position.
Adkins was with the Collins Center for more than 15 years, assisting with both programming and marketing. Williams said her leaving the position marks a “changing of the guards” for the nearly 30-year-old cultural center.
“She has been a great asset for us over the years and has done a great job,” said Williams. “There are a lot of things here and at the university in general that are naturally evolving. Change is in the air.”
What position Adkins will take next and where is not yet known. The CCA will be hiring a new marketing and outreach director in the coming months, while the task of programming will fall mostly to Williams for the foreseeable future.