Two sold-out performances of Anton Chekov’s “Uncle Vanya” were held Aug. 7 and 8 to benefit Midcoast Actors' Studio at the home of John and Elaine Bielenberg. The production of the four-act play, considered by many scholars to be among the best plays ever written, was the culmination of a 10-month actor’s workshop led by director Robin Jones to delve deep into the playwright’s work.

A limited seating of 10 each night, coupled with staging in the garden, living and dining rooms of a private home, made for an intimate setting for cast and audience. MAS producing artistic director Jason Bannister was pleased with the end result.

"When I started MAS, I envisioned a theater company that expanded beyond the stage," he said, adding he is planning to offer another acting workshop and intimate performances in the 2016 season.

Midcoast Actor’s Studio was founded in 2012 and has produced some great theater works including “Hedda Gabler,” “Pygmalion,” “Plaza Suite,” “August: Osage County” and “Skylight.”  Its next production is “The Servant of Two Masters,” which will run Sept. 11 to 27 at the Troy Howard Stage. MAS will close the 2015 season with “Good People” in November.

The 2016 season will include “A Lie of the Mind” by Sam Shepard (Pulitzer Prize winner), “Circle Mirror Transformation” by Annie Baker (Pulitzer winner), “Arms and the Man” by George Bernard Shaw and “4000 Miles” by Amy Herzog (Pulitzer finalist). For more information, visit and check out the troupe’s Facebook page.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or