Department of Theatre
The 2015-2016 University of Southern Maine (USM) Department of Theatre season offers a wide array of extraordinary entertainment, including an extra dark Irish comedy, a classic American drama, a heady musical satire, a droll tragedy, and an exciting special event featuring ballroom dance.
USM Theatre students are involved in this year’s festival in several capacities as performers, crew members, creative team members, organizers, and volunteers. A production of "Beyond Belief," by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, is being produced solely by USM Theatre students and alumni. The show will have two performances at Geno’s rock club on Wednesday, June 24 and Thursday, June 25.
USM's presentation of As You Like It is the first production in Maine to be fully ASL shadowed. ASL shadow-signed productions offer deaf and hard-of-hearing audience members the experience of theater without having to watch a sole interpreter on the side of the stage. The roles of the ASL shadow interpreters are equal to those of the actors, and they are integrated seamlessly into the story.
The fast-paced musical features a score of infectious, hard-driving jazz and glorious big-band sound by the dream team behind the Tony Award-winning musical, “Hairspray,” and NBC’s musical drama, “Smash.”
“Christopher Durang writes stingingly funny plays that often parody or satirize American artistic, cultural, and religious icons." - William Steele, director and Professor of Theatre
“Dance USM!” will include hip hop, jazz, tap, contemporary dance, musical theatre, a dance-performance hybrid, and an aerial dance piece. Faculty and adjunct choreographers include Tzianabos, Vanessa Beyland, Janette Hough-Fertig, and Shannon Zura.
“Each character is striving to form a relationship of some kind -- whether for romance and love or for simple companionship. The show delves into the complexities of those relationships and into the social, political and religious views that influence them.” - Thomas Power, director
The story they said couldn’t be told is about to shatter the airwaves -- again!
Meghan Brodie will direct an Actors’ Lab staged reading of Hughes’ 1983 play that borrows from the title of Radclyffe Hall’s controversial 1928 novel, “The Well of Loneliness.” Hughes’ take on the modern lesbian, however, could not be more different than Hall’s. This is the naughty side of noir.
The USM Theatre season is replete with skirt-chasing dames, lonely love-torn souls, original dance, a production at the Portland Stage Studio Theater featuring a satirical southern belle and her hypochondriac son, followed by a pistol-packing nun, and the Maine premiere of the sensational new musical, Catch Me If You Can, as well as one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies “shadowed” by American Sign Language interpreter-performers.