Belfast Flying Shoes will present a one-of-a-kind theater and dance event, "The Dancingmaster," Sunday, May 20, at 2 p.m. at Marsh River Theater, 24 Monroe Highway/Route 139.

In this whimsical musical portrait of the influential contra dance caller Dudley Laufman, folk musician Keith Murphy performs the title role. At the end of the event, the audience is invited to participate as Laufman himself calls dances with the Waldo County Country Dance Orchestra.

Dubbed a folk operetta, "The Dancingmaster" is the latest of composer Lawrence Siegel's acclaimed Verbatim Projects and features verbatim words and lyrics from an interview Siegel conducted with Laufman. Murphy is a highly regarded traditional musician and singer from Vermont and brings a warm tenor voice to his portrayal of the character of Dudley. He is accompanied by Becky Tracy on violin and Siegel on piano. An intergenerational ensemble of local dancers will offer a visual complement to the singing and instrumental music.

Belfast Flying Shoes board member Chrissy Fowler said the local organization is thrilled to stage “The Dancingmaster” in Maine. Molly Gawler of Monroe has been brought in to create original choreography for the local dancers.

“As a professional dancer with a family background in traditional dance and music, Molly is a perfect fit. Having Dudley on hand to call a dance after the performance makes it all the more special," Fowler said.

The Waldo County Country Dance Orchestra is an open ensemble patterned after the Belfast Flying Shoes All Comers Band and Laufman's influential Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra. All musicians are welcome to sit in with Tracy, Murphy and Siegel as “Dudley” leads dancing. "The Dancingmaster" will appeal fans of traditional music and dance, as well as those who love musical theater and classical music.

This Belfast Flying Shoes outreach event is supported in part by a grant from the Maine Expansion Arts Fund of the Maine Community Foundation, with in-kind donations from the Belfast Dance Studio. Tickets, $15 to $35 sliding scale, will be available at the door. For more information, email or call 338-0979.

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