Book by Terrence McNally
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Directed by Cary Libkin
Choreography by Vanessa Beyland
Music Direction by Edward Reichert
• Friday, March 2, 7:30 PM
• Saturday, March 3, 2:00 PM
• Saturday, March 3, 7:30 PM
• Sunday, March 4, 5:00 PM
• Wednesday, March 7, 5:00 PM
• Thursday, March 8, 7:30 PM
• Friday, March 9, 10:00 AM
• Friday, March 9, 7:30 PM
In 1964 Dublin, Ireland, bus conductor Alfie Byrne shares his passion for theater by reciting poetry to his passengers, and directing a troupe of players in the basement of St. Imelda’s Catholic Church. The trouble begins when Alfie decides to produce his favorite playwright Oscar Wilde’s scandalous play, Salome. The church simply can’t allow such heathen decadence to be performed, even in the basement. During the course of a tumultuous rehearsal process, Alfie learns that the theatre is not a place to hide from the world, but instead the very place where we may finally discover our true selves. As author Terrance McNally writes, “The small world of the St. Imelda’s Players becomes an enormous one and I would be surprised if you did not find at least a small part of your world in theirs.” Indeed, you will see that Alfie Byrne is a man of great importance.
Director Cary Libkin is particularly fascinated by the central conflict of the piece, Alfie Byrne's 's soul.
"As director, I have been fascinated with the central conflict of the piece," says Libkin, "which may be summed up with two lines from the work. 'You just have to love who you love.' vs. 'The love that dare not speak its name.' " He points out that, "In a very theatrical way, the musical uses 1960’s Dublin and the words of Oscar Wilde to shed light on struggles as contemporary as today’s headlines."
Also charged with creating the world of the play, Libkin adds, "the design staff has been inspired by the use of theatre and the process of putting on a play as a place dedicated to exploring the search for identity." Then he muses, "But when does a place of safety become a hiding place; not a place to shine light on one’s identity, but rather hide from it in the words, actions, and clothes of another?"
This is a reminder that not only is the study of theatre a way of entertaining an audience, as this musical theatre production demonstrates, it's also a provocative exercise of self-examination for the players themselves--the theme of “ search for identity" adopted by the Department of Theatre for the entire 2017-2018 season.
According to Music Director Ed Reichert, what excites him the most about this show is "seeing a beautifully written musical come to life in the voices of our USM students!" He said, "I think the students' focus in rehearsals has been remarkably keen because the material demands it. Heartwarming, funny, and deeply moving...the cast has been embracing the story-telling nature of this show." Reichert admits that he has seen them all grow as actors in the very short 5 weeks they have been working on the musical.
"As a teacher, this makes me extremely happy and enormously proud!" And of the musicians, Reichert adds, "We have a wonderful band that will be seen onstage throughout the performance led by my incredibly talented associate Kellie Moody, pianist/conductor." The musicians are all current School of Music students or recent alums. Reichert says, "they're going to add to the fun - especially in the pub scenes."
Reichert says, "What impresses me most about this score by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens is how seemlessly it moves from the flavor of Ireland to a more traditional musical theater sound."
The large cast includes (alpha order): Samuel Allen (Robbie) from Harpswell; Sean Arsenault (Alfie Byrne) from Scarborough; Ricky Brewster (Breton Beret); Matty Boyd (Mr. Carney) from Medford, NJ; Jackie Condon (Mrs. Patrick) from Houlton; Olivia Esty (Mrs. Curtin) from Buxton; Chris Figaratto (Baldy) from Portland; Cami Gibson (Adele understudy) from Clinton; Brianna Hull (Kitty Farrelly) from Lewiston; Miles Obrey (Sully/Robbie understudy) from Gorham; Meghan Eileen O'Brien (Lily Byrne); Molana Oei (Mrs. Grace) from Lubec; Keegan Perry (Father Kenny/Policeman) from Westbrook; Mike Spaulding (Rasher/Carson); Ben Walker-Dubay (Erinie) from Kennebunkport; Meg Ward (Adele Rice) from Bangor; and Abby White (Miss Crowe) from Dalton, Massachusetts.
A large production crew runs the show, led by Jake Hammond, stage manager. The musicians, conducted by Kellie Moody are Jacob Cooper, guitar; Sarah Hashem, woodwinds; Victoria Hurlburt, violin; and Cameron Prescott, cello.
The story is poignant, the music is outstanding, and the heart runs through it all. Get your tickets today!
Based on a film “A Man of No Importance”
A collaboration of the School of Music and Department of Theatre
Main Stage, Russell Hall, USM Gorham campus.
Please purchase tickets at the USM Theatre Box office: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?ticketing=usmt , (207) 780-5151 Tickets: $10 students, $16 seniors, faculty, staff, alumni, $22 general public.
Those needing special accommodations to participate fully in this program, contact the USM Theatre Box Office, (207) 780-5151. Hearing impaired: call USM's telex / TDD number (207) 780-5646.
A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).
All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.