BANGOR — Penobscot Theatre, Bangor’s professional theater company, will open its 2011-2012 season with “Last Gas,” a new play by Maine playwright and award-winning actor John Cariani, who also wrote “Almost, Maine.”
In “Last Gas,” Nat Paradis is stuck in a rut as the manager of Paradis’ Last Convenience Store in Aroostook County. When an old flame returns to town, Nat gets another chance, but faces a choice between the possibilities of new love and old in this bittersweet, romantic comedy that looks at love lost, love found and the curveballs life throws at people.
“I’m so thrilled to kick off our 38th season with this heartwarming, thoughtful and extremely funny play.” said interim Artistic Director Nathan Halvorson. “John Cariani’s play is a true investigation and illumination of life in the state of Maine. It is perfect way to start this incredible season at PTC.”
“Last Gas” will feature local favorites Ben Layman, Jasmine A. Ireland and Arthur Morison; and the PTC debut of local actor Cameron Wright.
Also in the cast, and making their Penobscot Theatre debuts, are Dave Droxler of New York and Meghan Malloy of Philadelphia, as the old flames who encounter each other once again. Droxler and Malloy have been seen extensively in regional theaters across the country.
Directed by PTC Managing Director Marcie Bramucci, the production is designed by Shon Causer, Erik Diaz, Anna-Marlies Hunter and Meredith Perry.
Penobscot Theatre also will start its new opening night “Experience the Play” Series with this production on Friday, Sept. 9. This series will get the audience even closer to the events they experience onstage.
Immediately after the play on Sept. 9, members of the audience will be invited to a dance class led by the choreographer of “Last Gas,” William Newman. Participants will learn the steps of the “freestyle, country couples dance” they just witnessed onstage. The event will be a great chance to meet the cast and crew, as well as walk into the night with a few new steps to impress friends and family.
Performances will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22; 8 p.m. Sept. 9, 16-17 and 23-24; 3 p.m. Sept. 11, 18 and 25; and 5 p.m. Sept. 10, at the Bangor Opera House, 131 Main St.
Support for Penobscot Theatre’s production of “Last Gas” comes from Eaton Peabody, Groth Associates, Northeast Pain Management, The Charles Inn,, Blueberry Broadcasting, The Maine Edge, WLBZ-TV 2 and the Bangor Daily News.