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BANGOR/ATLANTA – A lovely tale of one woman’s life as reflected through a poetic namesake is currently available from Penobscot Theatre Company.

“Je Ne Suis Pas Evangeline” (or, “I Am Not Evangeline”) is the latest and last installment in PTC’s ongoing Digitus Theatrum season. It’s a collaborative effort with the Atlanta-based Théâtre du Rêve, a company devoted to bringing the French language and Francophone culture to the American stage. Single household streaming tickets are available at the PTC website at www.penobscottheatre.org; the show runs through May 9.

Inspired by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1847 poem “Evangeline, a Tale of Acadie,” which tells the tale of a young Acadian woman who dedicates her life to tracking down her lost love following the tragic displacement of the Acadian people at the hands of the British in the mid-18th century, “Je Ne Suis Pas Evangeline” is an exploration of the nature of identity, both in terms of our perception of ourselves and the perception the world has of us.

Performed in both English and French, it’s driven by a tour de force performance courtesy of Carolyn Cook, the founder and artistic director of Théâtre du Rêve, along with a handful of quietly compelling reenactments.

Published in Style
Wednesday, 17 March 2021 13:22

Get a clue with ‘Who Killed Zolan Mize?’

BANGOR – The latest offering from Penobscot Theatre Company is a mystery unlike any you’ve ever seen. It’s a tough one to solve – and you’re part of the solution!

“Who Killed Zolan Mize?” is an interactive livestreaming murder mystery created and executed by Rachel and Brendan Powers, a married couple of actors based in Florida. The show is part of PTC’s ongoing Digitus Theatrum season, with performances streaming through April 3. To purchase a link or to find more information, visit the PTC website at wwws.penobscottheatre.org or call the box office at 942-3333.

The show plays out live for a limited audience – there are only 20 tickets available for each performance – as a pair of hardboiled detectives question a number of weird and wacky suspects, all in an effort to solve this heinous crime. But here’s the thing – the detectives aren’t alone … because they have YOU!

Published in Style

BANGOR – A hilarious whodunit is coming your way courtesy of Penobscot Theatre Company!

PTC continues their innovative and industrious response to the current circumstances with their presentation of “Who Killed Zolan Mize?” The latest entry in the theatre’s ongoing Digitus Theatrum mainstage season, it’s an interactive murder mystery that will be livestreaming beginning on March 11 and running through April 3. To purchase a link or to find more information, visit the PTC website at wwws.penobscottheatre.org or call the box office at 942-3333.

The show is the brainchild of Rachel and Brendan Powers, a married pair of Florida-based actors who are likely familiar to area audiences; both have graced the Bangor Opera House stage in recent years – Rachel in the theatre’s 2018 production of Lindsey Ferrentino’s “Ugly Lies the Bone” and Brendan in both Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” (2014) and Tracy Letts’s “August: Osage County” (2015).

“Who Killed Zolan Mize?” lets audiences engage in the fun as they watch a pair of detectives question six quirky suspects. Viewers are invited to share ideas and observations with their fellow detectives along the way in the “Clues Journal,” as well as joining into a series of in-home scavenger hunts. Once all the evidence is in, audience members share their thoughts on the case with the detectives and a vote is held. The suspect with the most votes wins (or loses, I suppose, depending on your perspective).

Following each performance will be a post-show talkback. This is a chance for audiences to ask Rachel and Brendan any questions they may have, both about the show and about the pair’s own experiences in the theatre and screen acting industries.

(A personal note: having worked with both Rachel and Brendan on shows in the past, I can vouch for the fact that they are not only talented and tremendously knowledgeable, but also among the kindest, most genuine folks you’re ever likely to find. If you see the show, stick around – you’ll enjoy what they have to say, whatever that winds up being.)

Published in Cover Story

BANGOR – Penobscot Theatre Company is going to the dogs.

As part of the theatre’s ongoing Digitus Theatrum season, PTC is presenting “The Dog Operas,” a series of three streaming performances set to roll out over the coming weeks. These pieces are the result of a lengthy canine/human collaboration, a multi-species team-up the likes of which the theatre world has never seen.

The first dog opera – “The Barker of Seville” – premiered on March 2. Subsequent operas – “Tosca the Ball” and “Dog Giovanni” – will become available on April 6 and May 4, respectively. Household tickets for all three “pupperas” are $40; the rate for PTC subscribers is $35. These tickets can be purchased through the PTC website at www.penobscottheatre.org or by calling the box office at 942-3333.

I should probably introduce myself. My name is Stella. I’m a Carolina dog whose age is none of your beeswax. My dad Allen is the editor of The Maine Edge. He knew that he wanted something special for this story, but he wasn’t sure what to do. Typical human, right? I let him try to work it out for himself for a while, but when it became clear how clueless he was, I finally gave him a nudge.

Now, this isn’t my usual beat. My primary gig has been working with my dad on the ongoing football picks feature “Kibbles & Picks” – I haven’t really done much in the way of arts coverage, but I figured if my dad can manage it, how hard can it be?

Of course, dog reporting is considerably different than human reporting. Humans need to have all these face-to-face conversations and spend all kinds of time staring at glowing rectangles. Not us canines – I just went for a walk and sent a couple of pee-mails. Word spreads pretty quickly in the doggie community, so it was just a matter of hours before I got some responses – some via howl, others simply through pee-mail responses (although someone – I’m not going to say who – did a pee-ply all that was just a nightmare to sift through).

Published in Buzz

BANGOR - A little rocket science keeps theatre alive. 

Penobscot Theatre Company continues to innovate to fulfill its artistic mission in the face of the pandemic. “Flyin’ Solo,” the latest offering in the company’s “Digitus Theatrum” 47th season, combines original works and technical know-how to make possible a live-to-your-home production.  

Published in Style

BANGOR – A Dickensian classic has been given a whole new look courtesy of a collaboration between Penobscot Theatre Company and Atlanta’s The Object Group.

“A Christmas Carol” is part of PTC’s Digitus Theatrum season, a filmed experience that features iconic local actor Ken Stack not just reprising his beloved portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge, but voicing all of the characters in the Dickens original via his own adaptation of the story. All this is brought to life via the stylized, intricate puppets and puppetry of The Object Group as directed by Michael Haverty.

It’s a visually striking production, with a unique aesthetic that renders it quite unlike any other version of “A Christmas Carol” that you’ve seen. It balances the traditional tone of the story with explorations of both the spookiness and silliness inherent to the tale. A household link – viewable as many times as you like – can be purchased by going to PTC’s website at www.penobscottheatre.org or by contacting the box office at 942-3333.

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 16 December 2020 13:30

‘Deck the Balls’ with wows of folly

BANGOR – As part of their holiday bill of fare, Penobscot Theatre Company is offering an adults-only show inspired by a seasonal classic.

PTC is working in tandem with Bar Harbor’s ImprovAcadia to present “Deck the Balls,” an interactive online improv performance inspired by the beloved Frank Capra film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” as part of their Digitus Theatrum season. IA’s owners and co-founders Jen Shepard and Larrance Fingerhut are joined by longtime IA performer Mike Shreeman for a full improv comedy show built on the foundation provided by the film. The show runs through December 27; tickets and more information are available at the PTC website (www.penobscottheatre.org) or by calling the box office at 942-3333.

It’s important to note that this show is created live and in the moment every night. This is not a recorded performance; each night, Jen, Larrance and Mike create a brand-new comedy show, one driven by different ideas, different characters … different everything. The only things that remain the same are the performers and the fundamental inspiration. The rest is up to them … and you.

Published in Style

What do you think of when you think of clowns? You probably have a pretty specific picture in your head, no? But here’s the thing – there’s so much more to clowning than giant shoes and greasepaint grins. It’s part of a grand performance tradition, one that goes back centuries, a meticulous and hilarious brand of physical comedy that has long endured.

There are modern practitioners of this weird and beautiful brand of slapstick performance, renowned clowns whose antics have commanded the attention of audiences all over the world.

Avner the Eccentric is one such practitioner, a beloved and acclaimed performer who is considered to be one of the greatest clowns in the world by those with an understanding of such things. And now, you can experience that greatness in your very own home.

“Exceptions to Gravity” is a show that Avner has performed around the world and now – thanks to a cooperative agreement with Penobscot Theatre Company – you can stream a heretofore-unseen filmed version of that show as one of the offerings for PTC’s unconventional season. You can purchase access or find more information at www.penobscottheatre.org.

Published in Buzz

BANGOR – Penobscot Theatre’s latest production is something quite different, a phantasmagoric feast … for the ears.

The first production as part of Digitus Theatrum, PTC’s all-digital season, is “Ghost Postcards from Maine,” an original audio experience featuring five new tales of terror from Maine writers and brought to life by some of your PTC favorites. The streaming show is available through November 8 and is available at www.penobscottheatre.org or by contacting their box office at 942-3333.

The theatre commissioned five writers – Travis Baker, Sam Collier, Carrie Jones, Michael Kimball and Robin Clifford Wood – to create new stories inspired by some of Maine’s ghostly legends. These stories run the thematic and stylistic gamut, each lending a unique perspective on some of our state’s scariest stories. Some will likely be familiar, while others will be new to you, but regardless, the end product here is an audio experience unlike anything you’ve ever heard, a ghoulishly good time for this Halloween season.

Published in Buzz

BANGOR – Adapt. Adapt. Adapt.

That’s what so many performing arts organizations have had to do over the past few months. The pandemic has completely upended the model, leaving thousands of people scrambling to figure out how to go forward in this new landscape.

And that’s what Penobscot Theatre has done: Adapt.

PTC has officially announced their 47th season. Titled “Digitus Theatrum,” the 2020-21 slate was shared with the public by Producing Artistic Director Bari Newport via a virtual town hall event held Aug. 17. It is the most unique schedule in the history of the company, a collection of online offerings that are unlike anything many theatregoers have ever seen.

From a haunted audio adventure to a holiday puppet extravaganza, from a homegrown collection of solo works to an avant-garde theatrical adventure, Digitus Theatrum isn’t the theatre to which we are accustomed. It is something different, a collection of ideas that is somehow both pragmatic and ambitious.

PTC will be offering a variety of subscriptions and a wealth of programming for audiences of all ages over the course of the season, with their mainstage bill of fare enhanced by a variety of new and different kinds of creative entertainment. For information about ticket and subscription options, contact the PTC box office at 942-3333 or visit the theatre’s website at www.penobscottheatre.org.

Published in Cover Story
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