Acorn Productions of Westbrook, a nonprofit arts presenter located in the Dana Warp Mill, will present its 2010 Maine Playwrights Festival, the ninth annual spotlight on brand new plays by Maine writers, Thursday, April 15 through May 1 at the St. Lawrence Arts Center on Munjoy Hill.

This year’s edition of the festival is directed by Harlan Baker, Julie Goell and Michael Levine and features one full-length featured play and two different lineups of shorter plays that vary in length from five to 30 minutes. In all, 12 new plays will be brought to life over the three weekends of the festival.

Among the chosen short works are “Backseat Driver” by Laura Emack of Prospect and “A Topnotch Man” by Hugh Aaron of Cushing. In Emack’s play, two former lovers, one married and one unmarried, relish a chance encounter that just might go too far. In Aaron’s work, a college professor calls on his former student, now a successful executive, for a loan to feed his drug habit.

Emack’s scripts have been produced in New York City and Kennebunk, and received staged readings in Omaha, New York City and throughout Maine, including two appearances in Penobscot Theater’s Northern Writes New Play Festival. “Backseat Driver” will be performed with one slate of short plays Thursday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m.; and Saturdays, April 17 and 24 at 5 p.m.

Aaron is a published author whose short stories and essays have appeared in a variety of publications. His plays have received staged readings in Cushing and Rockland; Columbus, Ohio; and New Bedford, Mass. “A Topnotch Man” will be performed with another slate of short plays Fridays, April 16 and 23 at 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday, April 17 at 8 p.m.

In addition to these performance slots, Emack’s and Aaron’s plays will be presented during the Saturday, May 1 festival marathon day, which will start 2 p.m.; and Sunday, May 2’s 24-hour festival finale, which will start 7:30 p.m. Admission is free for the finale, although a $5 donation is suggested. For other performances, admission will be $15, $12 for students and senior citizens, with festival passes valid at all three lineups available for $35/$28. For more information, call 854-0065 or visit

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to