After a successful premiere season in 2012, Midcoast Actors’ Studio’s Artistic Director Jason Bannister is happy to announce this year’s productions. The season kicks off with George Bernard Shaw’s classic play Pygmalion in May/June; then the Pulitzer Prize winning Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet; and finishing the season is David Ives’s hilarious collection, All in the Timing. MCAS strives to provide quality theater to the midcoast of Maine by producing classic and contemporary plays.
“Last year was our inaugural season at MCAS, and we made quite a name for ourselves,” quotes Bannister, after last year’s productions of Hedda Gabler and Miss Julie. That name has brought in many talented locals with experience and passion for theater, as well as audiences eager to see quality theater produced in Belfast.
Leading off the season is Pygmalion, the play that was the premise for the wildly popular musical My Fair Lady, later made into a movie starring Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn. Playwright George Bernard Shaw, the second most produced playwright in the world (after Shakespeare) wrote Pygmalion in 1912. It was later made into a movie in 1938, as well as adaptations, such as Pretty Woman.
Pygmalion tells the story of Henry Higgins, Professor of phonetics, who makes a bet that he can train a bedraggled Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, to pass for a duchess at an ambassador’s garden party by teaching her to assume a veneer of gentility, the most important element of which, he believes, is impeccable speech. The play is a sharp lampoon of the rigid British class system of the day and a commentary on women’s independence.
Playing Higgins is local actor James Clayton. Marie Stickney, in her third MCAS performance, takes on the role of Eliza. Stage veteran Greg Marsanskis takes Higgins’ bet with the role of Colonel Pickering. Rounding out the cast is Jay Rosenberg, Beverly Mann, Charlotte Herbold, Katie Glessner, Dana Wilson, Kieran Shell, Beth and Mike Rowe and Christine West.
Directing Pygmalion is Erik Perkins. Perkins performed in last year’s Hedda Gabler. Aspen Jones of Rockland is stage manager. Jason Bannister is producer. John and Elaine Bielenberg are designing the sets and costumes, respectively. This is the second collaboration between the Bielenbergs and MCAS, the first being the beautiful and intricate designs for Hedda Gabler last May. Many audience members raved about the professional quality of the designs.
Performances for Pygmalion are May 31-June 9 at Troy Howard School Theater at 173 Lincolnville Ave. in Belfast. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:00 p.m. and Sundays are at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the door.
For more information on Pygmalion or the rest of the Midcoast Actors’ Studio’s 2013 season, call 323-6251, email Artistic Director Jason Bannister at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit midcoastactors.org, or like them on Facebook.