The Belfast Maskers will open its 25th-anniversary theater season with dramatic readings of three new plays by Maine playwrights: “Hatty” by Bundy Boit of Penobscot; “Joe Patten for Senate” by Jon Potter of Rockport; and “Mansion on the Hill” by Eddie Adelman of Belfast. Performances will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the playwrights.

The readings will take place one weekend in the Parish Hall of First Church, 55 Spring St. in Belfast; and the next in Searsport’s Union Hall, above the Town Office on Union Street. Admission is by donation only. For more information, call 338-9668 or send email to maskers@roadrunner.com.

“Hatty” is a full-length play based on the true story of Harriet Jacobs, a slave who lived for seven years in hiding in a small crawl space so she could see her children in secret. Aynne Ames directs the reading, which includes music. “Hatty” will be presented Fridays at 7 p.m.: March 16 in Belfast; and March 23 in Searsport.

The two one-act plays are directed by Judi Erickson and will be presented Saturdays at 7 p.m.: March 17 in Belfast; and March 24 in Searsport. “Joe Patten for Senate” asks how much does money matter — and does deception bother anyone? “Mansion on the Hill” is the story of two homeless people who, through sharing what little they have, find a caring other.

Auditions for the Maskers’ second production of 2012, “Steel Magnolias,” will be held Saturday, March 17 from 10 a.m. to noon at the First Church in Belfast. The show will cast six women in ages ranging from 17 to 70-plus. Production dates are April 20 through 22 in Belfast and 26 through 29 in Searsport. For more information about Maskers auditions and performances, visit belfastmaskers.com or call 338-9668.

The Belfast Maskers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing quality theater for, and with, the community since 1987. Belfast Maskers offers an internship program that draws young actors from the United States and abroad; runs a well-attended summer camp for youngsters; and produces a season of theater fare for approximately 3,500 residents and visitors year-round.

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