HISTORY PLAY TO DEBUT AT Bangor Library
- July 16, 2018
BANGOR HISTORY PLAY TO DEBUT AT LIBRARY AUGUST 3
In her latest play, Laura Emack showcases Bangor through a historic event she vividly remembers. The Pride of Bangor [or What not to Wear] recalls the vicious public battle between shock jock Donald Imus and then-mayor Patricia Blanchette. The issue in question, whether or not Paul Bunyan should don a promotional T-shirt in the summer of 1997, still seems silly. Yet it sparked visceral reactions about civic pride, morality, and a claimed icon of mysterious lineage. The play explores this rich material in its central flashback scene, framed from the 2018 perspectives of a homeless ex-logger, a juvenile offender, and a female police officer.
The cast of four includes Robben Harris as protagonist Sid who stands on the brink of adulthood. After getting busted for breaking into summer homes, he’s been sentenced to a summer of community service supervised by the Bangor police. Like his character Sid, Harris recently finished high school. At Brewer High he was active in Brewer Youth Theatre, and was named to All Festival Cast at the regional Maine Drama Festival. The son of two music teachers, he created “School Shooter,” a song and music video released in March 2018 as part of the nationwide effort by students to demand action on gun violence following the Parkland tragedy.
Kathryn Ravenscraft is also well known to local audiences from numerous Winterport Open Stage productions, most recently 2018’s The Ladies Foursome. Her several appearances with Ten Bucks Theater include the role of Miep Gies, the trapped families’ German lifeline, in The Diary of Anne Frank. Ravenscraft will play Nola, the fictional niece of the late Mayor Blanchette and a Bangor patrol officer. Nola suffers from mid-career angst as she doubts she can keep Sid, temporarily in her custody, from making more bad choices.
Jerry Lyden plays down-and-out Joe Fournier who surreptitiously sleeps in Bass Park and knows himself to be a direct descendent of the real Paul Bunyan. Lyden’s acting credits include TV roles on Homicide Life on the Street, Law & Order, The Young and the Restless, and As the World Turns. Some favorite film roles are a bit part in Goodfellas and the supporting role of Max in Time, which was awarded 2015 Best Feature at the Philadelphia International Film Festival. Stage roles include the lead in Dracula with Plays & Players, Philadelphia. Locally he played Wyatt in Bangor Community Theater’s Things My Mother Taught Me, and has been on The Nite Show with Danny Cashman.
Nancy Nicholson plays Patricia Blanchette in a portrayal that posits much self-doubt within a pioneering and dedicated public servant. Decades ahead of her time, Mayor Blanchette took a firm stand against incivility and paid a heavy price in public ridicule. Nicholson’s credits include Mother Miriam Ruth in Some Theatre Company’s 2017 production of Agnes of God. She has appeared in over one hundred productions across the country ranging from cabaret, environmental theatre, and comedy to musicals and drama. Nicholson holds a Master of Arts in Media Studies from New School University.
Laura Emack’s work has been performed in New York City and throughout Maine. In 2012 Husson University Theatre (HUT) chose The Easter Parade for its fall production. Another Maine history play, Broken Bridges featuring Prospect’s first female selectman, was performed on Prospect History Day in 2015. Two full-length plays have become finalists in the Maine Playwrights Festival, and Backseat Driver was a 2010 MPF winner with an additional production by Midcoast Actors Studio in 2014. Most recently, Cold Comfort Theater presented Jerry Hognagle’s Top Ten List along with five other short plays at the UMaine Hutchinson Center in April 2018.
Theater and Communications Professor Christopher Bates completes the creative team as project dramaturg. Bates has directed plays for Belfast Maskers, Winterport Open Stage, and other community groups while teaching at the UMA Bangor campus for the past thirty years. He has been providing advice to Emack, who has not done much full-scale directing, and rehearsal notes as the team aims for excellent production values.
The Pride of Bangor [or What Not to Wear] will be performed at 7:30 P.M. in the Crofutt Community Room at the Bangor Public Library, 145 Harlow Street. Admission is by donation ($5 suggested) with all ticket proceeds going to the Barbara A. McDade Endowment Fund. Established in honor of the recently-retired BPL director, this fund is dedicated to buying books. Advance reservations are strongly suggested, as seating is limited. For more information, call (207) 567-3437 or email LKECPA@prexar.com. Those wishing to donate and/or buy tickets should follow this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-pride-of-bangr-tickets-46481856484
Contact: Laura Emack
Tel: (207) 567-3437