Don’t be a Scrooge – Come see
A Christmas Carol
Belfast – The cast and crew are putting the finishing touches on their production, A Christmas Carol – before they dot another ‘i’. Midcoast Actors’ Studio presents the holiday classic December 6, 7, 14 at 7:00 p.m. and Dec. 8 and 15 at 2:00 p.m. at Troy Howard Stage, 173 Lincolnville Ave. Belfast.
This version of the famous Charles Dickens story of Scrooge was adapted by retired theater professor John Bielenberg over 20 years ago and has been performed every Christmastime since then in New York. This will mark the 4th production of it here in Maine and the first for Midcoast Actors’ Studio, which Artistic Director Jason Bannister hopes will become a tradition.
“Everyone knows the heartwarming tale of Scrooge and Tiny Tim, and this adaptation adds some original and delightful twists.” says Bannister. The production includes many songs, making it feel like a musical at times. Add to that the beautiful set and costumes, as well as the strong acting from a company including many returning actors from previous years, and audiences are in for a night of family fun.
Brian Ross plays the miserly old Scrooge. The rest of the cast includes Christine West, Jay Rosenberg, Scott and Leah Smith, Katie Glessner, Erik Perkins, Tyler Johnstone, Macartney Wyatt, Randall Merrifield, and Ada Curry. Bannister directs, while Lila Nation is the music director. Set and costumes are by John and Elaine Bielenberg. Ginny Ford is stage manager. A Christmas Carol runs around two hours including intermission.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students. The show is appropriate for ages 7 and up. Reservations can be made with a credit card by calling the box office at 370-7592. Tickets can also be purchased at the door. MAS accepts cash, check, and credit cards.
On the Saturday, December 14 performance there will be a dinner beforehand. Menu items include lasagna, salad, and bread. Dinner will be served at 6:00 p.m. The performance is in the cafetorium so diners can stay at their table to watch the show or move to the traditional theater style seating. Tickets for the dinner and show are $25 for adults and $20 for students. Reservations for the dinner must be made by Dec. 9.
A Christmas Carol is the last production of a successful 2013 season for Midcoast Actors’ Studio. The 2014 season is shaping up to be very exciting, with 7 productions including: All in the Timing in February, The King and I in March, August:Osage County in June, Nunsense in August, Plaza Suite in September, Maine Playwrights Showcase in October, and A Christmas Carol in December.
For more information about this or future productions, please contact Artistic Director Jason Bannister at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Casting for 2014 Season
Midcoast Actors’ Studio, Belfast’s new theater company, is announcing regional open auditions for its 2014 season. Many roles are available for All in the Timing, The King and I, August: Osage County, Nunsense, Plaza Suite, Maine Playwrights Showcase, and A Christmas Carol. All performances will be in Belfast.
Auditions are through appointment only on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 11 + 12, at Troy Howard School in Belfast. Audition slots are filling up fast, so contact Artistic Director Jason Bannister at email@example.com to schedule your audition.
New faces will need to prepare two contrasting monologues, as well a song (if being considered for either musical). Auditionees should also be familiar with the characters in the shows they are interested in, as there will be cold readings as well.
ANNOUNCING THE 2014 SEASON OF MIDCOAST ACTORS’ STUDIO
OPEN AUDITIONS FOR THE SEASON DECEMBER 10 & 11 (Callbacks Dec. 17/18)
AUDITIONS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY – EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
ALL IN THE TIMING
This critically acclaimed, award-winning evening of one-act comedies combines wit, intellect, satire and just plain fun.
PERFORMANCES Feb 6-15 at Waterfall Arts DIRECTED by Greg Marsanskis
English Made Simple – A man and woman meet at a party. As the night progresses it becomes apparent the two knew each other, and were even involved romantically, at some point. Meanwhile an all-knowing intellectual explains what the couple is really thinking as they talk to each other.
Characters: Jack – Late 20’s, pleasant young man; Jill – Late 20’s, pleasant young woman; The Loudspeaker – Female or Male, age doesn’t matter, stuffy, intellectual.
Sure Thing – A man and a woman meet for the first time in a cafe, where they have an awkward meeting continually reset each time they say the wrong thing, until, finally, they romantically connect.
Characters: Bill – Man, mid 20’s to mid 30’s; Betty – Woman, mid 20’s to mid 30’s
Words, Words, Words – Three chimpanzees (named after famous authors) are locked in a cage as part of an experiment to test the hypothesis that three apes hitting keys at random on typewriters for an infinite amount of time will surely produce Hamlet.
Characters: Swift – Male, the rebel philosopher, the idealist, antagonistic; Milton – Male, realistic, knows what has to be done and does it, doesn’t want to rock the boat; Kafka – Female, a dreamer, simple-minded but brilliant
The Philadelphia – At a restaurant, a man is informed by a friend that his frustratingly unlucky day is the result of his ensnarement in an anomalous pocket of reality, called a “Philadelphia,” in which he will only be fulfilled by asking for the opposites of what he really wants.
Characters: Al – Male, mid 20’s to 30’s, Cool, Calm, California; Mark – Male, mid 20’s to mid 30’s, Frazzled; Waitress – Female, Very matter-of-fact.
Variations in the Death of Trotsky – In comic fashion, revolutionary Leon Trotsky dies over and over again from a mountain-climber’s axe-wound received many hours prior. This sparks Trotsky to make his final philosophical statements on human life before he dies a final time.
Characters: Leon Trotsky – Male, late 50’s to early 60’s, Revolutionary leader, Russian; Mrs. Trotsky – Female, late 50’s to early 60’s, Bubbly, Russian; Ramon Mercader – Male, early 30’s, Sexy Spanish Gardner.
Mere Mortals – Three blue-collar construction workers discuss how they are really the Lindbergh baby, the son of Czar Nicholas II of Russia, and the reincarnation of Marie Antoinette.
THE KING AND I
A classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on the novel “Anna and the King of Siam” by Margaret Landon.
Story: Anna Leonowens arrives in Siam to serve as a tutor to the King’s many children. Both stuck in their seperate cultural ways, the two eventually learn to understand, respect and love each other. Featuring the classic Broadway songs Getting to Know You, Whistle a Happy Tune, and Shall We Dance.
PERFORMANCES March 21-30 at Troy Howard Stage DIRECTED by Jason Bannister
Casting needs for The King and I:
The King of Siam: A king who is secure in his power, serious and intelligent. Has a vision of a civilizing Siam with Western scientific knowledge. Is challenged by Anna’s modernism and wit, but develops a deep affection and appreciation for her nature. Mature actor. Voice range baritone (flexible).
Anna: A worldly and modern British woman. She is confident and maternal and always feels she is correct; her flaw is her temperament. She has a deep appreciation for the King which develops into an affection. Mature actress. Vocal range mezzo to high soprano.
TupTim: A young princess sold in servitude to the King but in love with another. Vocal range mezzo to high soprano.
Lun Tha: A young servant and lover to TupTim. Vocal range low to high tenor.
Lady Thiang: The first wife of the King of Siam and mother to the crown prince. Very loyal to her son and the King and sees Anna as an equal. Vocal range mezzo soprano.
Kralahome: The Prime Minister to the King. He is fiercely loyal to his country and skeptical of Anna’s intentions.
Sir Edward: A friend and former suitor of Anna who visits Siam to judge allegations that the King is a barbarian.
Louis: The son of Anna. Devoted to his mother and to Western ideas. Is sincerely polite and friendly. Needs to be able to sing. Approximate age: 10 to 14 (flexible).
Chulalongkorn: The Crown Prince of Siam and the King’s oldest son. Outranked only by the King. Needs to be able sing. Approximate age: 12 to 16 (flexible).
Children: A total of twelve children, including the Prince. Need to be able sing and to move/dance. Approximate ages: 6 to 14.
Minor character parts:
The King’s Wives – Ages: 16-40 (flexible)
Phra Alack – secretary to King
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY
A vanished father. A pill-popping mother. Three sisters harboring shady little secrets. When the large Weston family unexpectedly reunites after Dad disappears, their Oklahoman family homestead explodes in a maelstrom of repressed truths and unsettling secrets. Mix in Violet, the drugged-up, scathingly acidic matriarch, and you’ve got a major new play that unflinchingly—and uproariously—exposes the dark side of the Midwestern American family.
PERFORMANCES June 6-15 at Troy Howard Stage DIRECTED by Robin Jones
The father and patriarch of the Weston family, aged 69. An alcoholic and former poet, his mysterious disappearance one evening and eventually discovered death are the reasons for the family’s reunion. The reasons for his alleged suicide are a major plot point that bring some of the family’s dark past painfully back into the light.
The mother and matriarch of the Weston family, aged 65. Suffering from cancer of the mouth, she is addicted to several prescription drugs, mostly depressants and narcotics. After an ugly rant at Beverly’s funeral dinner, the family’s focus shifts to keeping her clean. Despite her drug-induced episodes, she is sharp-tongued and shrewd: she is aware of the family’s many secrets and not hesitant to reveal them for her own benefit.
The oldest daughter of the Weston Family, age 46. Mother of Jean and wife of Bill, though they are currently separated. She is a college professor in Boulder, Colorado. She wants to save her marriage, but has the intense need to control everything around her as it falls apart.
The middle daughter of the Weston family, age 44. The only daughter to stay in Oklahoma, she teaches at the local college, and her calm and patient exterior hides a passionate woman who is gradually growing cynical. She is secretly having an affair with her “cousin”, Little Charles, and plans to move to New York with him.
The youngest daughter in the Weston family, age 40. She is newly engaged to Steve, whom she considers the “perfect man”, and lives with him in Florida, planning to marry him soon. Karen can talk of little else but her own happiness even at her father’s funeral, and she clearly chooses to lie to herself about her sleazy fiancé rather than face the reality of not getting a happy ending.
Barbara’s estranged husband and Jean’s father, age 49. A college professor, he has left his wife for a younger woman named Cindy, one of his students, but wants to be there for his family. His marriage is disintegrating and his patience is slowly running thin.
Bill and Barbara’s smart-tongued 14-year-old daughter. She smokes pot and cigarettes, is a vegetarian, loves old movies, and is bitter about her parents’ split. More naive than she would like to believe. We will be casting an 18+ who looks younger.
Karen’s fiancé, age 50. A businessman in Florida, (whose business, it is hinted, centers around the Middle East and may be less than legitimate) and not the “perfect man” that Karen considers him. He eventually attempts to sexually molest Jean after the two smoke pot together.
Mattie Fae Aiken
Violet’s sister, Charlie’s wife and Little Charles’ mother, age 57. Just as jaded as her sister, Mattie Fae constantly belittles her son and antagonizes her husband. Eventually she reveals the major plot point that Beverly, not Charlie, is the real father of Little Charles.
Husband of Mattie Fae and the presumed father of Little Charles, age 60. Charlie, a genial man, was a lifelong friend of Beverly. He struggles to get Mattie Fae to respect Little Charles.
“Little” Charles Aiken
Son of Mattie Fae and Beverly, 37 years old—but, like everyone else, he believes Charlie is his father. Unemployed and clumsy, his mother calls him a “screw-up”, which may be a self-fulfilling prophecy. He is secretly having an affair with Ivy, who is revealed to actually be his half-sister.
A Cheyenne Indian woman, age 26, whom Beverly hires as a live-in housekeeper shortly before he disappears. Violet is prejudiced against her, but she wins over the other family members with her cooking skills, hard work, and empathy. Johnna is the silent witness to much of the mayhem in the house.
Sheriff Deon Gilbeau
A high-school classmate and former boyfriend of Barbara’s, age 47, who brings the news of Beverly’s suicide to the family.
Nunsense follows the crazy antics of five nuns from the Little Sisters of Hoboken convent. When their cook accidentally serves up some tainted soup, 52 of the sisters are poisoned and die, leaving only five living nuns who were not at home the day of the toxic meal. When the convent’s first in charge, Reverend Mother Regina, splurges on a plasma TV, the sisters find themselves strapped for cash, as they still have four dead nuns to bury (whose bodies are being stored in the kitchen freezer!). The nuns decide to put on a benefit performance of the musical Grease in order to raise the rest of the money before the health department discovers their secret.
PERFORMANCES August 1-10 location TBA DIRECTED by Jason Bannister
Sister Mary Regina (Mother Superior):
The head of the convent, she is respected greatly by the sisters. While she is strict, she has a hard time keeping the craziness of the convent at bay. She keeps her guard up in front of the nuns, but has an extroverted side. Part requires some very physical humor. The character is may be played with an Irish accent. Voice part: mezzo/belter.
Sister Mary Hubert:
Hubert is in charge of novices, but fancies herself a Mother Superior and is constant competition with Mary Regina. She exudes maternal wisdom to novices, but also likes to let loose. Voice part: Mezzo/belter.
Sister Robert Anne:
Once a child delinquent herself, this rough tough nun is a jokester and constantly challenging authority. She speaks with a thick Brooklyn accent and constantly displays her lack of refinement. Vocal part: Mezzo/belter
Sister Mary Amnesia:
As the name suggests, she has lost her memory and does not know who she is except that she is a nun. She is spacey and incoherent, often slipping into displays inappropriate for a nun. Must be able to sing in classical and country styles. Vocal part: Soprano AND belter
Sister Mary Leo:
Leo is the novice nun, still learning the way and coming to terms with her decision to give up “civilian” life. She is a ballerina and displays her talents through much of the show. She is also easily swayed to join in mischief. Vocal part: mezzo/belter
Hilarity abounds in this portrait of three couples successively occupying a suite at the Plaza. A suburban couple take the suite while their house is being painted and it turns out to be the one in which they honeymooned 23 (or was it 24?) years before and was yesterday the anniversary, or is it today? This wry tale of marriage in tatters is followed by the exploits of a Hollywood producer who, after three marriages, is looking for fresh fields. He calls a childhood sweetheart, now a suburban housewife, for a little sexual diversion. Over the years she has idolized him from afar and is now more than the match he bargained for. The last couple is a mother and father fighting about the best way to get their daughter out of the bathroom and down to the ballroom where guests await her or as Mother yells, “I want you to come out of that bathroom and get married!”
PERFORMANCES Sept. 12-21 at Troy Howard Stage DIRECTOR TBA
Karen Nash – Forty eight years old and fine with it. A pleasant and affable woman, Karen has allowed herself to look middle aged because she knows she is middle aged. She is witty, and down to earth. She is also secretly hoping the visit at the suite will bring her and her husband closer together.
(It is their Anniversary, she thinks)
Sam Nash – Sam is Fifty years old but can not come to terms with it. He is trim, incredibly neat and well tailored. Sam needs to know he looks good, and also that others know he looks good. He goes to great strides to keep the years at bay, with exercise and a meticulous diet. Sam is a workaholic, but not just because he likes to work.
Jean McCormack – Jean is Sam’s secretary and highly efficient. She is well groomed, attractive, and bright and cheerful at 28 years of age. She is also Sam’s mistress.
Waiter – He’s a waiter, trained to be friendly and please customers.
Bellhop – Younger man, eager to please and will visit as long as he needs to get his tip.
Jesse Kiplinger – A confident Forty year old Hollywood producer who has made his success but still feels his life is missing the kind of relationship he had in his teens with Muriel. He has one purpose in seeing Muriel.
Muriel Tate – In her late thirties, very attractive and still seems somewhat naïve. She is warm, and generous, and very impressed with Jesse. She is unsure of meeting with him, and yet can’t seem to make a decision to stay or go. She claims to be happily married…..
Waiter – He’s a waiter, he delivers food.
Norma Hubley – Dressed as mother of the bride and trying to appear calm in a crisis with everyone EXCEPT her husband. Married to a Type A personality, she sways from trying to keep him in calm and in control while passively and aggressively taking a stand for herself.
The father of the bride with the bills to prove it. A competitive business man, out of his league when dealing with emotions and marrying off his daughter.
Borden Eisler – The young confident groom, a man of few words. (Literally)
Mimsey Hubley – A nervous bride, afraid of having her marriage turn out like her parents’ marriage.
MAINE PLAYWRIGHTS SHOWCASE
A night of original plays written by Mainers. Soon to be a tradition!
PERFORMANCES October – Dates and Location TBA
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
The tradition continues! John Bielenberg’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic tale.
PERFORMANCES Dec. 5-14 at Troy Howard Stage DIRECTOR TBA
This show is performed with the same cast each year, although recasting may occur.
ALL SHOWS/DATES SUBJECT TO CHANGE