The world premiere of “Sea Fairies,” adapted by Fritz Lyon from the story by L. Frank Baum, will be presented in six performances at The Playhouse, 107 High St. Performances will take place Friday and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., May 18 through 27.

In this deep sea adventure, Zog the Terrible — part fish, part man, part beast, part sea serpent — is opposed by fellow sea serpent King Anko, who must save the Queen and Princess of the mermaids. Meanwhile, earth people Cap’n Bill and young friend Trot (a/k/a Mayre Griffiths) are magically enabled to live beneath the sea and join in the adventure before returning home to solid ground.

Mary Weaver — producer, director, teacher, founder of The Playhouse in 1994 — found Baum’s 1911 novel and asked Lyon to turn the story into a play.

“While I get to have my name stamped on the scripts and programs, alas this production isn’t about me, nor the small part I played this time. There was more happening behind the scenes than I might have anticipated,” Lyon said.

At The Playhouse, Weaver, who has been producing plays in Belfast for 30 years, works with children from age 5 on in Creative Acting sessions. Some students continue learning to act in Stagecraft and Production classes. Since last fall, six young people with several years’ experience as members of the Children’s Company have been working with Weaver to develop this play, celebrating the centennial of Baum’s vision of “Sea Fairies” and other creatures of the sea and land.

The students and Weaver talked about what worked and what did not work in each scene. The storyline and dramatic structure were reworked; some scenes and characters were cut; and speeches were simplified and tailored to each character. There were readings and more changes.

In recent weeks, rehearsals began with 11 young actors learning their lines and their blocking and interaction. Many larger-than-life puppets were created for this play, and four of the actors are puppeteers, doubling up parts of the variety of fish and sea creatures. There were matters of stage design that would require considerable effort plus tasks in designing lighting and puppets.

Thus, the actors are not just acting, they are learning how to produce the magic of theater from the ground up. They are learning the techniques of putting on a play all their own. Weaver said she expects that years from now, one or more of these youngsters will be producing theater on their own. Everybody involved helped to put on this show, which makes it a good example of what The Playhouse is all about — young and older people finding their wings onstage and backstage.

“Watch the show and see how and why The Playhouse is a longstanding community resource,” said Lyon.

“Sea Fairies” is recommended for all those age 5 and older. Tickets are $5 at the door. The Playhouse is an intimate theater with limited seating, so call 338-5777 for reservations.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or