More than two years, friends and Midcoast theater cronies Tod Widdecombe and Corey Honkonen were discussing a game in which someone named Dante ran a bar called The Inferno. They started batting ideas back and forth about a show featuring the author Dante and what kind of bar he would run. The result will take the Camden Opera House stage Friday night, May 14 when Midcoast Seaside Theatre opens a two-weekend world premiere production of “The Inferno Bar and Grill,” directed by Widdecombe.

Both playwrights make appearances in the play, Honkonen as the barkeep Dante and Widdecombe as a “Shrouded Figure.” Surrounding them is a cast of local theater types, many of whom have worked with each other in recent years. In “The Inferno Bar and Grill,” several hapless humans half-way between life and death deal with their changing circumstances and the bar’s regulars, the Seven Deadly Sins. The cast features Rick O’Malley as Wrath, Ariana Wadsworth as Vanity, Summer Temple as Lust, Tabitha Ordway as Greed, Kyla Prior as Envy, Brad Fillion as Gluttony, Shane Lavoie as Sloth, Aspen Jones as the Chef and Bell Hop, Chloe Keller as the Critic, Scott Anthony Smith as Sam, Jennifer True as Kelly and Todd Martin as Jake.

Honkonen said that several members of the cast have been instrumental in providing criticism and revisions to the script as they went along.

“This is the first original production we’ve ever attempted, and they’ve been a great help as we learn as we go,” he said.

That the script has survived to the point of revision-on-the-fly is a bit of a miracle. Two computers and one memory stick disappeared or died with, at the time, the only copy of what had been written, forcing one complete rewrite from scratch and one trip to tech support to get the file pulled from a dead hard drive. Honkonen and Widdecombe smartened up and began disseminating copies to multiple locations.

Finding times and locations in which to write was a struggle as well.

“On many occasions, we’d find ourselves on a borrowed laptop in a lonely corner of the gym writing the next scene, or driving to Augusta, laptop in lap, editing and revising on the way up before stopping at Borders to pirate an outlet to recharge, grab something to eat, and then edit some more on the way back,” Honkonen said.

In the end, the playwrights came up with a comedic cocktail that mixes “1 Part Divine Author, 7 Parts Deadly Sin and 4 Parts Lost Human — add a pinch of death, a slice of mystery and mix over Purgatory.” Performances will be Friday and Saturday, May 14 and 15; Friday, May 21; and Sunday, May 23. All shows are at 7 p.m. Tickets are $14, available by calling 594-9744 or visiting

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