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USM Theatre students finish season with uproarious comedy “The Foreigner”

USM theater students

The University of Southern Maine Department of Theatre closes out its 2018-2019 theatrical season with the hilarious Larry Shue classic, “The Foreigner,” opening on Friday, April 19 and running through Sunday, April 28. All performances take place on the USM Gorham Campus in historic Russell Hall. Inspired and hilarious, this wildly comic depiction of our own absurdities may prove a cathartic reminder of the better aspects of our humanity.

“The Foreigner,” winner of two Obie Awards and two Outer Critics Circle Awards as Best New American Play and Best Off-Broadway Production, tells the tale of a depressed, and socially petrified young man named Charlie who is brought by his gregarious friend to a fishing lodge in rural Georgia seeking solitude, but chaos ensues. Non-stop hilarity leads the audience to a wildly funny climax in which things go uproariously awry for the bad guys, and the good guys emerge triumphant.

“Larry Shue tells a story that provokes audiences to laugh, cry and then laugh some more. It’s a fun-filled show that inspires us to be ourselves and love our families. It’s just a bonus that I’ve been able to be a part of a show with a cast that is just like family,” said junior theatre major Mariah Larocque, playing the lead, Catherine Simms.

Theater promoDirector Michael Boudewyns describes the show as “funny, joyful and playful...written in 1982, but its humor and story...are timeless and fairly universal.” He continues, “Larry Shue was, by all accounts, a remarkable, talented, funny and generous storyteller and performer. The most important element Mr. Shue reminds us through his script is generosity - generously including other people; being generous as a theatre person, and as a human being.”

“It's a great blend of hard-hitting truth and well-crafted humor,” says senior theatre major, Aaron Verrill, who plays the young minister, David. He continues, “It's a story we can look at and recognize the people. They may be our friends, our neighbors, but we all know these people in one way or another. I hope that the audience can look at the events that occur in the story and see how it could apply to us, while also still appreciating the humor that Larry Shue weaved into the plot.”

“The Foreigner” cast includes USM students: Drew Masse (Charlie), from Lewiston, ME; Aaron Verrill (David), from Belgrade, ME; Emma Zerba (Betty), from Pittsfield, ME; Mariah Larocque (Catherine), from Derry, NH; DJ Monteith (Froggy), from Old Town, ME; August Thornton (Ellard), from Jay, ME; Will Parker (Owen), from Milton, NH; Luis Del Valle (understudy), from Machias, ME; Mikayla Holmes (understudy), from Brewer, ME; Kevin Paradis (understudy), from Seabrook, NH; Blake Wright (understudy), from Columbia, ME.

Performances dates and times:
Evenings: April 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 at 7:30 pm and April 24 at 5:00 p.m.
Matinees: April 20 & 28 at 2:00 pm

Special event: April 24, Talk-back following the 5:00 p.m. show with Rachel C. Casey, PhD, MSW, Associate Professor of the USM School of Social Work with post-talk reception. Sponsored by the Warren Memorial Foundation

The show is approximately 2 hours with one intermission.

Ticket prices: $16 for adults, $12 for seniors 60+, USM employees and alumni, and $8 for students/youth. Discount performance (all tickets $8): Wednesday, April 24.

ASL-interpreted performances will be offered on April 19, 20 (7:30 pm show only), 24, 26, 27 & 28.

School matinee: The USM Department of Theatre also offers a special school matinee for grades 6 and up, with a talkback with cast and crew on Friday, April 26 at 10:00 a.m., reservations are required. For more information or to schedule your class, contact Outreach Coordinator, Janice Gardner,

To purchase tickets, or for more information, visit USM Theatre online at, or call the USM Theatre Box Office at (207) 780-5151.

Those needing special accommodations to participate fully in this program, contact Janice Gardner at (207)780-5289 or Hearing impaired: call USM's telex / TDD number (207) 780-5646.