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ORONO – A unique theatrical experience featuring a collaboration spanning half the globe is currently taking place in Orono.

The show in question is “Anon(ymous),” by Naomi Iizuka; it will be running at the Cyrus Memorial Pavilion on the University of Maine campus in Orono through October 24. The production’s directors are Rosalie Purvis and Debaroti Chakraborty. Now, it’s not that unusual for a theatrical piece to have two directors, but in this case, the circumstances are unusual indeed. You see, these directors – and performers – are separated by thousands of miles. Purvis is the Libra Assistant Professor of Theatre and English at the University of Maine. Chakraborty is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Performing Arts at Presidency University in India.

They have come together – along with casts on either side of the world – to create this multimedia experience. Combining live performance and video, this show – a modern reimagining of Homer’s classic epic “The Odyssey” – unites students from both institutions in an effort to tell a story both familiar and unexpected, a tale of desperation and hope and, ultimately, of one person’s efforts to find their way home.

Published in Buzz

ORONO – There’s something inherently fun about outdoor theatre. I’m not sure I can put my finger on it; it’s more a combination of things. The sun, the fresh air - it just feels like a nice mix with theatre in general and Shakespeare in particular, at least to me. Watching people tell you a story while the sun sets is a heck of a way to spend an evening.

Now, our current circumstances have made it a bit more difficult. Take the University of Maine School of Performing Arts, for instance. Their plan was to present an outdoor production of Shakespeare’s beloved comedy “Twelfth Night, Or What You Will” in the Lyle E. Littlefield Ornamentals Trial Garden on the UMaine campus in Orono. Unfortunately, the ever-changing pandemic dynamics meant that they could not perform for audiences.

Well … not LIVE audiences, anyway.

See, rather than let the situation defeat them, they went ahead and did the show anyway. They’re theatre kids, folks – you’re not going to stop them.

And so, the University of Maine School of Performing Arts is presenting their filmed version of “Twelfth Night” for streaming through May 9. Directed by Julie Arnold Lisnet, the show is available through the UMaine SPA website – just visit www.umaine.edu/spa/tickets and you’ll be on your way. Tickets are $12 for the general public and just $3 for UMaine students.

Published in Style
Tuesday, 22 October 2019 13:33

‘Rumors’ a farce to be reckoned with

ORONO – There are a whole lot of doors being slammed and stories being spun on the University of Maine campus, courtesy of a classic Neil Simon farce.

UMaine’s School of Performing Arts is presenting Simon’s “Rumors” at the Cyrus Memorial Pavilion Theater on the Orono campus. Directed by Julie Lisnet, the show runs through Oct. 27.

It seems as though the region has Neil Simon on the brain these days – Ten Bucks Theatre just closed their production of the playwright’s “The Sunshine Boys” – but there’s a reason for that: he’s funny. His work is charming and clever and accessible, a perfect fit for just about any company. “Rumors” is a great example of that; it’s not top-tier in terms of Simon’s most well-known work, but it’s just a tick below.

And again – it’s VERY funny.

Published in Style

ORONO – It’s another big year for the CCA.

The Collins Center for the Arts is heading into its 34th season of exceptional arts programming on the campus of the University of Maine in Orono.

The CCA – formerly known as the Maine Center for the Arts – has been a vital hub for the performing arts in the region ever since the Bangor Symphony Orchestra christened its stage all the way back in 1986. The iconic building has played host to memorable acts large and small over the years, bringing a wonderful variety of arts and entertainment to our area.

The Collins Center is a foundational piece of the region’s cultural community; for over three decades, they have been a key part of the scene, offering quality programming at affordable prices year after year.

The 2019-2020 season is no exception, with a wonderful variety of music, theater and dance aimed at audiences of all ages. As per usual, the powers that be at the CCA have managed to ensure that there really is something for everyone. No surprise there – accessibility has always been a watchword for the organization.

Danny Williams, the CCA’s Executive Director, and Associate Director Karen Cole sat down with The Maine Edge to discuss some of the highlights of the upcoming season. Williams hit the ground running with a story about the performer officially opening the CCA season on Sept. 13, the legendary Chubby Checker.

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 29 May 2019 11:26

A celebration of statehood at UMaine

ORONO – A big anniversary is looming for the State of Maine.

Specifically, the state’s bicentennial. Maine was part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts until it voted to secede in 1820. Maine was then added to the Union as part of the Missouri Compromise on March 15 of that year, becoming the 23rd state.

As part of the ongoing celebration of that momentous occasion, the University of Maine is playing host to the Maine Statehood and Bicentennial Conference from May 30 through June 1. Through a series of panel discussions, keynote speakers and other presentations, scholars from all over Maine and beyond will delve into the state’s history and what its path to statehood meant both back then and now, two centuries later.

Dr. Liam Riordan is a professor of history at the University of Maine. He is the primary organizer of the conference and was kind enough to answer a few questions for The Maine Edge.

Published in Style
Wednesday, 27 February 2019 13:57

A hack day’s night – Hack AE hits UMaine

ORONO – The University of Maine is preparing to play host to a unique weekend of problem solving.

UMaine is the site for America East Hackathon 2019. Known as Hack AE, the event takes place March 2-3 on the University of Maine Campus in Orono. Scores of students from all over the country will be landing in Orono, primed to use their myriad skills to find unconventional solutions to specific problems.

Published in Cover Story
Tuesday, 20 November 2018 10:52

UMaine football wins CAA conference title

ORONO - Exceeding expectations has been a way of life for University of Maine football for many years but this year’s edition of the Black Bears is taking that practice to new heights.

Published in Sports

ORONO – A classic allegory is coming to animalistic life at UMaine.

The University of Maine School of Performing Arts (SPA) is presenting Orwell’s “Animal Farm” inside the intimate Al Cyrus Pavilion Theatre on the Orono campus. The show, directed by Alan Liam Estes, runs through Oct. 28.

Published in Style
Wednesday, 05 September 2018 10:53

The Brice-Cowell Musket returns to UMaine

ORONO - It’s an old flintlock rifle made by a guy named Ebenezer Nutting sometime in the 1700s and named after a couple of coaches who did their best work during the Coolidge administration. It was largely forgotten for decades until Jack Cosgrove made it a thing again during his tenure as boss of the Black Bears. Oh, and it’s spent the better part of the last decade and a half on a shelf in Durham, New Hampshire, providing a tangible reminder to the Wildcats of their domination of the football rivalry with the neighboring state university.

And now, it’s found a new/old home in Orono, after a 35-7 opening night stunner by the Black Bears in the “Thursday Throwdown.”

Published in Sports

ORONO – A beloved comedic classic is springing (or summering) to life at the University of Maine.

UMaine’s School of Performing Arts is presenting their production of William Shakespeare’s beloved “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Directed by Marcia Joy Douglas, the play runs through Nov. 19 at UMaine’s Hauck Auditorium.

Published in Buzz
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