LEWISTON — After 18 months of being unable to produce a play, The Public Theatre is thrilled to announce its reopening! The Theatre will begin its 31st season on Oct. 15 with its previously postponed production of “Middletown” followed by a delightful holiday production and a fabulous three play subscription series starting in January.
New this season, The Public Theatre will also be offering an option to purchase a Video on Demand of a live performance of each play in the season that you can watch from home.
The Public Theatre has taken its decision to resume live performances very seriously making the safety of everyone its top priority. They have recently upgraded their HVAC system with MERV filters throughout the building to meet or exceed all CDC guidelines for air circulation and filtration.
Following the lead of theatres on Broadway and cities across the country, including Boston, for the safety of its audiences, they are requiring the following protocols for Middletown and The Manhattan Short Film Festival:
• Proof of vaccination and the wearing of masks in the building will be required to attend. The full COVID Safety Policy can be found at thepublictheatre.org:
• Social distancing (one empty seat on either side of your party) will be available upon request. Please call 207-782-3200 for assistance
• For people who do not feel comfortable attending the theatre in person, access to a Video On Demand option of the production will be available during the second week of live performances
• Free ticket exchanges will be available up to one hour before your ticketed performance time.
The theatre will open its doors on Sept. 24-25 at 7 p.m. to host the annual Manhattan Short Film Festival. Ten short films selected from around the world will screen in over 500 cities on six continents over a one-week period including at The Public Theatre! As an audience member you get to cast your vote for the winner. Finalists from the festival’s history have included nominees and winner of the Oscar in the short film category, so this is a unique and exciting opportunity to see the next generation of feature filmmakers from around the world.
The Public Theatre officially begins its season of plays with “Middletown” playing Oct 15-24. This joyful, funny, and heartfelt new play tells the story of two couples who’ve been friends since their children’s first day of kindergarten. Thirty-three years later they reminisce about the highs, lows and in-betweens of their shared experiences, reminding us that friends make the good times better and the hard times easier. This will be a Maine premiere and The Public Theatre will be the first regional theatre to produce this deeply satisfying and uplifting show that has been touring around the country.
Next up in December will be a Ho-Ho-Ho holiday belly laugh, as Susan Poulin returns to The Public Theatre in “A Very Ida Christmas” on Dec 10-12. Get ready for the funniest holiday show in Maine! It’s Christmas in Mahoosuc Mills, and Ida’s holiday spirit is so bright it could light up a Xmas tree. Don’t miss Maine’s favorite “Woman Who Runs with the Moose” as she shares her hilarious insights and advice for the holidays.
The new year will officially begin the theatre’s subscription series with the Maine premiere of “Be Here Now” by Deborah Zoe Laufer Jan. 21–30. Watch what happens when a pessimistic professor of nihilism develops a dangerous medical condition with a side effect that turns her into a happy, likable, believer in love. Will curing her condition return her to misery? This quirky and complex comedy wisely asks us, is happiness a choice or a pre-existing condition?
Next up March 11-20 is the delightfully unpredictable romantic comedy “Dancing Lessons” by Mark St. Germain about a professional dancer with a career-ending injury who is thrown for a loop when a geoscientist shows up on her doorstep asking for a dance lesson. Offering her an absurd amount of money to teach him enough moves to avoid embarrassing himself at an awards dinner, these two mis-matched souls embark on a series of lessons that lead them both of out of their comfort zone.
The season ends on a joyful silly note with the Maine premiere of “Screwball Comedy” by Norm Foster running April 29 to May 8. “Imagine His Girl Friday” meets “The Carol Burnett Show” in this fast-paced, hilarious nod to the Hollywood comedies of the 1930s and 1940s. Filled with classic characters and snappy banter like, “I’m gonna kiss you so hard your cousin in Texas is gonna get a tax refund,” this zany comedy will keep you laughing from start to finish.
A recording of the above live performances will be available as a video on demand ticket during the run of the show and throughout Christmas for fans of Ida!
For more information on any of the above, visit thepublictheatre.org or call 207-782-3200.