Midcoast Actor's preps ‘Miss Julie’

Nov 23, 2012

New theater group Midcoast Actor's Studio, after a successful run of “Hedda Gabler” last spring, is putting the final touches on its sophomore production. Written by Swedish playwright August Strindberg in 1880, “Miss Julie” is a naturalistic play that deals with class, love, the battle of the sexes and the power struggles that arise among them.

The cast includes Jason Bannister, Jen Oldham and stars Marie Merrifield as the title character. All three actors have starred in numerous productions with other local companies such as Camden Civic Theatre and the Belfast Maskers. Merrifield played the title role in MCAS’s production of “Hedda Gabler” last spring. Artistic director Bannister, directing as well as acting, prides himself in being able to find shows that would not always be the first choice for other stages but are perfect for MCAS due to its small company of actors.

"For our second production, I wanted to produce another classic work of theater; yet one that was smaller, more intimate and easier to tour around the Midcoast with,” he said. “This fresh, new adaptation of Strindberg's powerful play, about the count's daughter having an affair with her father's servant, was just the thing MCAS was looking for."

“Miss Julie” was given a modernistic adaptation by Penny Penniston, a playwriting professor at Northwestern University. This production will be the New England premiere of Penniston’s adaptation.

“Miss Julie” will travel to two different Midcoast venues. Performances will be Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7 and 8 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 33 Chestnut St., Camden.; and Friday and Saturday, Dec. 14 and 15 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. at Troy A. Howard Middle School, 173 Lincolnville Ave./Route 52, Belfast.

Tickets will be sold at the door an hour before show time. Admission is $10, $7 for students and senior citizens; group rates are available as well. This play is suitable for mature high school age and older. For more information on Midcoast Actor's Studio and its production of “Miss Julie,” visit midcoastactors.org or the troupe’s Facebook page.

The ambitious efforts of the newly fledged acting troupe will not stop after “Miss Julie.” Bannister said the Midcoast Actor's Studio is already preparing to present George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion”; many people might be more familiar with the play’s popular musical adaptation, “My Fair Lady.” “Pygmalion” is scheduled for June in Belfast.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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