“‘White Cottage,” an original play by Julia Clapp, will open Friday, July 30 for a three-weekend run at The Playhouse, 107 Church St. Performances will be Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 4 p.m. through Aug. 15.

Clapp has been acting since age seven at The Playhouse and with the Belfast Maskers. She also has taken ballet classes with Keith and Maureen Robinson since age five. Now 18, Clapp has written and is directing her first full-length play.

“Writing is most important to me, but directing my play is a great experience and a lot of fun.  And of course, there’s nothing like acting,” Clapp said.

She credited The Playhouse with providing the creative environment for her acting and now writing and directing talents. She said The Playhouse is different in that Mary Weaver encourages a collaborative effort, so everybody gets involved with everything.

“It’s such an intimate space, and Mary chooses plays that work perfectly in that space. Often it’s like sitting in the character’s living room,” she said.

Set in England in 1910, “White Cottage” is a Victorian parlor mystery that takes place at the country cottage of Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Banstead on a stormy summer night, as they entertain their guests. The evening takes a strange and frightening turn when Mrs. Banstead suddenly goes missing. Who is the culprit — a guest, a servant or someone in the family? That answer will be left to the audience to find out, said Clapp.

Productions at The Playhouse in which Clapp has acted in feature roles include “Ned Crocker” in 2007, “Sherlock’s Veiled Secret” last year and “Wild Mushrooms” this spring.  The Sherlock Holmes play was special “because I got to act opposite my father while playing his daughter,” she said. In “Wild Mushrooms” as Dodie, “I got to step completely outside of myself and be a person totally different from me.” This acting experience has informed her playwriting.

Clapp also has authored and self-published a children’s book, “The Lost World of Captain Mitton,” and is working on a sequel. She has written several unpublished children’s books and short plays, one read at the first annual SWAN Day (Support Women Artists Now) at the University of New England.

After “White Cottage” and the end of the summer, Clapp will be off to Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vt., to study creative writing.

“I would also like to write another play soon, or perhaps a screenplay. We’ll see,” she said.

Tickets for “White Cottage” will be $10 at the door, which opens 15 minutes before each performance. Seating is limited, so calling 338-5777 for reservations is suggested.

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