Midcoast Actors’ Studio has begun making solid stakes in the Belfast arts community. After three seasons of ground-breaking productions, Artistic Director Jason Bannister feels confident that 2015 will be a banner year for the theater company.
“MAS has taken center stage,” says Bannister, referring to the success of Midcoast Actors’ Studio in the theater arts community of midcoast Maine. Bannister has been ambitious and bold in choosing a full, year-round season of four productions for 2015. They include Venus in Fur in February, Skylight in May, The Servant of Two Masters in September, and Good People in December.
MAS’s first production is David Ives’ Venus in Fur. Thomas (Tyler Johnstone), a beleaguered playwright/director, is desperate to find an actress to play Vanda, the female lead in his adaptation of the classic sadomasochistic tale Venus in Fur. Into his empty audition room walks a vulgar and equally desperate actress—oddly enough, named Vanda (Johannah Blackman). Though utterly wrong for the sophisticated part, Vanda exhibits a strange command of the material, piquing Thomas’ interest with her seductive talents and secretive manner. As the two work through the script, they blur the line between play and reality, entering into an increasingly serious game of submission and domination that only one of them can win. A mysterious, funny, erotic drama that represents yet another departure for the multifaceted David Ives. Venus in Fur is directed by Robin Jones and runs February 13 – March 1 at the Playhouse on Church Street in Belfast.
Skylight, is written by David Hare. On a bitterly cold London evening, schoolteacher Kyra Hollis (Crys Bruschi) receives an unexpected visit from her former lover, Tom Sergeant (James Clayton), a successful and charismatic restaurateur whose wife has recently died. As the evening progresses, the two attempt to rekindle their once passionate relationship only to find themselves locked in a dangerous battle of opposing ideologies and mutual desires. It also stars Owen Scoville as Tom’s son, Edward. Skylight was originally produced at the National Theatre in 1995, before transferring to the West End and Broadway, won an Olivier Award for Best Play and was Tony nominated for best play, actress, actor, and director. It is directed by Jason Bannister and runs May 15-31 in Belfast.
The Servant of Two Masters, written by Carlo Goldoni in 1743 and adapted by Constance Congdon, is a comical blend of the Italian classic Commedia dell’arte and contemporary performance styles that tells the story of the outrageous and wily servant, Truffaldino (Bannister), who secretly signs on with two masters simultaneously. Complete with masks and slapstick comedy, this is a show that aims to please. Also starring Nicole Provonsil, Leah Darcy, Jay Rosenberg, Tyler Johnstone, Sonia Vazquez, Robert Daisey, Jen Wendell, Patricia and Latricia Saucier. Directed by John Potter, the Maine Premiere of this play runs September 11-27.
The final production of 2015 is David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People. Tony nominated for best play in 2011 and winning best actress (Frances McDormand), Good People “is that rare play that is both timeless and completely keyed into a specific moment in American life—without the need to grasp for topicality. Bringing the same clear-eyed emotional observation that distinguished his Pulitzer winner, Rabbit Hole, Lindsay-Abaire has crafted another penetrating drama about deeply relatable issues, albeit this time with more warming doses of humor.” (Hollywood Reporter) Robin Jones directs this show that runs December 4 -20.
In addition to the four mainstage productions MAS is planning some additional fundraising events. One of which is True Stories, where people will share their storytelling abilities in a relaxed intimate setting at Waterfall Arts on Saturday, April 25 at 7:00. They are also planning a live old time radio play in the summer. Stay tuned for additional fundraising events and stage readings.
Tickets for all shows are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors/students. For more information about Midcoast Actors’ Studio, the 2015 season and tickets, as well as how you can become a supporter, call the box office at 207-370-7592, email email@example.com, visit midcoastactors.org or on Facebook.
Midcoast Actors’ Studio of Belfast has enjoyed a successful 2014 season, with four wonderful productions (All in the Timing, August: Osage County, Nunsense, Plaza Suite). Now MAS is pleased to announce its last production of the season, the Maine Playwrights’ Showcase, December 5-14 at the Playhouse, Church Street in Belfast. After this season concludes, MAS will be presenting an exciting 2015 season, including Venus in Fur by David Ives in February, Skylight by David Hare in May, The Servant of Two Masters by Carlos Goldoni (adapted by Constance Congdon) in September and Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire in December.
The showcase includes original works by four Maine writers: Laura Emack of Prospect, Danielle Bannister of Searsmont, Shelly Curtain of Bucksport, and Michael Kimball of Cape Neddick. The cast and crew hail from all corners of midcoast Maine: Bangor to Knox to Waldoboro. The showcase was the brainchild of MAS Artistic Director Jason Bannister.
Backseat Driver (Emack) asks if a chance encounter between former high-school sweethearts will cause Shonna to violate her marriage vows? This play stars real life couple Beth and Mike Rowe. In Swivel (Bannister) Daphne (Jen Maher) arrived to find her chair missing. What happens next will make her world spin. Also starring Kelley. In The Day the Music Died (Emack), the Curves gym in the town of Thespia welcomes all women and serves as vibrant social center. Owner Donna denies the approaching financial meltdown that takes everyone else by unpleasant surprise (starring Bannister and her daughter Marina, Kelley, Ivy Lobato, and Maher). Finally, Henny and Hitler in Hell (Kimball) has Adolf Hitler (Clayton) awakening in Henny Youngman’s (Rowe) Catskills dressing room. Provonsil is Eva.
The Showcase is directed by Ivy Lobato and Judi Erickson. Phil Prince is board operator. Karen Bryzsnyak is costumer and Chris Wright helped with the set. Jason Bannister is producer, Leah Darcy is publicist, and Tristan Bannister is on the crew.
BELFAST – Midcoast Actors’ Studio announces the cast and crew of the Maine Playwrights’ Showcase. This is the fifth and final production of the highly successful 2014 MAS season. The showcase includes monologues and one act plays by local writers Michael Kimball, Laura Emack, Danielle Bannister and Shelley Curtain.
The cast includes James Clayton, Mike Rowe, Nicole Provonsil, Beth Rowe, Jay Rosenberg, Danielle Bannister, Marty Kelley, Jennifer Maher and 9-year old newcomer Marina Bannister.
The production is directed by Ivy Lobato and Judi Erickson. Artistic Director Jason Bannister is producer, with Leah Elizabeth Darcy publicist. Karen Brezsnyak is designing costumes, hair, and makeup.
WHEN: Saturday, November 1
TIME: 12:00 – 4:00 (email firstname.lastname@example.org for specific time)
If we know you, meaning you’ve done an MAS show, you don’t need to prepare anything or supply a headshot/resume. Take a look at the attached link for character descriptions, and if you want to audition for a specific role(s) let us know and the directors will have scripts on hand. Auditions will be roughly 15 minutes.
If you are new to MAS, please supply us with a headshot/resume, as well as two contrasting monologues.
We are looking to cast for VENUS IN FUR (Feb 13 – Mar 1), SKYLIGHT (May 23 – June 8), A SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS (September 11 – 27), and GOOD PEOPLE (December 4 – 20).
Midcoast Actors’ Studio is pleased to announce it has cast its next production, Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite. Hilarity abounds in this portrait of three couples successively occupying a suite at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. First presented on Broadway in 1968, Plaza Suite is one of Simon’s most famous plays and a staple in American comedy. The cast includes Greg Marsanskis, Shari John, Jen Wendell, Martin Long, Katie Glessner Perkins, Jason Bannister, Dennis Harrington, Beverly Mann and Valerie Philbrick. Erik Perkins is directing. Philbrick is also serving as stage manager and hair/makeup. Robert DesLauriers is set designer, Pip McFaul is costume designer, Jason Bannister is light designer, Amy Pillitteri is sound designer, Jay Rosenberg and Elaine Bielenberg are design mentors. Performances are October 10, 11, 17, 18 at 7:00 p.m. and October 12 & 19 at 2:00 p.m. at the Troy Howard Stage in Belfast. For ticket information please call the box office at 370-7592 or email email@example.com.
Jennifer Maher, Leah Smith, and Alex Clausen (photo courtesy of Sarah Joy)
Get your tickets today! Call 370-7592 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Belfast – Midcoast Actors’ Studio presents NUNSENSE, the hilarious musical spoof about the misadventures of five nuns trying to manage a talent show, August 1-10 at the UU Church in Belfast.
Sadly, the rest of the sisterhood died from botulism after eating the vichyssoise prepared by Sister Julia (Child of God). Thus, the remaining nuns – ballet-loving Sister Leo (Jennifer Maher), street-wise Sister Robert Anne (Alex Clausen), befuddled Sister Mary Amnesia (Leah Smith), the Mother Superior Sister Regina (Irene Dennis), and mistress of the novices Sister Mary Hubert (Angela Domenichelli) – stage a show in order to raise the money to bury their dearly departed Sisters.
Leah Smith, Irene Dennis, and Angela Domenichelli (Photo courtesy of Sarah Joy)
NUNSENSE is directed by MAS Founder and Artistic Director Jason Bannister and music directed and accompanied by veteran musician joani mitchell, with Duncan Hall on Bass. Jay Rosenberg is stage manager, Maher is choreographer, Ivy Lobato is props supervisor and spotlight operator, Sonia Vazquez is concessions manager and Shari John is house manager.
Nunsense runs August 1-10 at the UU Church in Belfast. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:00 p.m., and Sundays at 3:00. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors and can be reserved by calling the Midcoast Actors’ Studio box office at 370-7592 or emailing email@example.com.
Midcoast Actors’ Studio was founded in 2012. The mission of the Midcoast Actors’ Studio is to entertain, enrich, and educate the cultural life of the mid coast region of Maine by providing a superior theater experience. MAS shall provide area residents the opportunity both to attend and to participate in quality productions of a cross-section of the finest theatrical works available. MAS recently closed a highly acclaimed production of August: Osage County and will present Plaza Suite October 10-19 at the Troy Howard Stage and a Maine Playwrights’ Showcase December 5-14 at The Playhouse on Church Street in Belfast.