The spring production will be selections from “The Coarse Acting Show” by Michael Green and includes five one-act comedies, performed by Mount Desert Island High School actors, "during which things go hilariously wrong." ISLANDER PHOTO BY NINAH REIN

MDI Drama’s spring play is back on course



BAR HARBOR — MDI Drama is scheduled to perform its first spring play in three years at Mount Desert Island High School’s Higgins Demas Theater this Friday. 

For the first time ever, the spring production will be a series of selections from “The Coarse Acting Show” by Michael Green, which, according to MDI Drama’s website, consist “of five serious plays performed by serious actors during which things go seriously and hilariously wrong.” 

“The production is a story within a story about all good actors in a play to whom very bad things happen,” said co-director Chris Dougherty, who is directing three of the five shows. 

Three of the 20-minute selections will take place in the first act before a short break that is followed by two more selections in the second act. The two acts are divided into two different companies where some of the students act in two or three of the five shows. Actors were cast in shows that the directors believed best showcased their talents. 

Dougherty says the three segments she directs, “Pride at Southanger Park,” “Il Fornicazione” and “A Collier’s Tuesday Tea,” are similar to extended “Saturday Night Live” skits with different settings. One of the segments is based around an opera, whose orchestra is in a van that is in a river.  

“During the opera play, we sing all of our lines, so some of it are certain well-known operatic pieces, but there are a lot of pieces where we just kind of make up what we are singing,” said student actor Ly Dillon. 

Carlene Hirsch is the director of the other two one-acts selections, which are Agatha Christie-esque murder mysteries, “Trapped” and “Streuth,” both in similar settings with comedic undertones. “The humor lies in how everything goes wrong, props and set pieces fall, break and lead to chaos,” Hirsch said, adding that the actors and actresses play the mishaps to a tee. 

Though all story settings are different, the stage will have the same design/layout, but with different props, costumes and decorations for each act. “We will be doing really quick costume and set changes,” Dougerty said. 

The students usually have only two weeks to rehearse for the spring production, but they were fortunate to get three weeks of rehearsal time this year.  

“We had a ton of people come out to audition,” said Dougherty.  

(From left) Mia Eason, Ly Dillon, Harlan Mahoney, Bryce MacGregor, Evangeline Meister and Darrin Stavnesli.
ISLANDER PHOTO BY NINAH REIN

The actors agreed that they enjoyed working on all the acts and do not have a favorite. Actor Rex DeMuro thinks the most interesting thing about the productions are all the layered acting where every actor is playing an actor who is playing a character, which he said lends to a good opportunity for character development.  

Hirsh said she takes a very student-centered approach and lets the actors determine their characters by giving them a framework to discover within rather than telling them exactly what her perception of their character is. 

Dougherty is grateful to have directed a variety of actors from rookies to show choir veterans this season and says she is looking forward to this new spring production endeavor. 

Performances are Friday, May 13, at 7 p.m., Sunday, May 15, at 1 p.m., Friday, May 20, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, May 21 at 7 p.m. Tickets will be available on performance dates at the theater entrance starting an hour before showtime.  

For more information, visit https://sites.google.com/mdirss.org/mditheatre or email [email protected]. 

“Pride at Southanger Park” cast     

Cecily: Eva Crikelair 

Lady Fanny: Mia Eason 

Rev. Giles: Bryce MacGregor 

Gladys, the Maid: Ly Dillon 

Sir Thomas: Darrin Stavnesli 

William Squires: Harlan Mahoney 

Mrs. Squires: Grace Curry 

Marcus: Rex DeMuro 

Front of House Manager: Evangeline Meister 

Concessionnaire: Adam Losquadro 

“Il Fornicazione” cast  

Countess Formaggio: Mia Eason 

Count Formaggio: Harlan Mahoney 

Maid: Ly Dillon 

Alfonso: Rex DeMuro 

Huntsmen: Eva Crikelair, Grace Curry, Andrew James, Evangeline Meister, Bryce MacGregor, Darrin Stavnesli 

Conductor: Adam Losquadro 

Triangle Player: Eva Crikelair 

“A Collier’s Tuesday Tea” cast  

Ida: Grace Curry 

Daniel: Bryce MacGregor 

Victoria: Eva Crikelair 

Albert: Adam Losquadro 

Joe: Darrin Stavnesli 

Margery: Ly Dillon 

Lionel: Rex DeMuro 

Police Constable: Andrew James 

Jed: Evangeline Meister 

“Streuth” cast 

Stage Manager, Vicar, Sergeant: Ryder Haines 

Mrs. D’Arcy: Matt Wheeler  

Inspector: Spencer Clark-Lovejoy  

Maid/Cook: CassiLyn Wilbur 

Mr. Oliver D’Arcy: Florian Smith  

Hubert: Hayden Braun  

James the Butler: Isabelle Peterson  

The Major: Owen Moses 

Vicar/Rupert: Cecelia Blackett  

“Trapped” cast 

Stage Manager, Vicar, Police: Ryder Haines  

Major Thompson: Matt Wheeler 

Braithwaite, Lawyer: Spencer Clark-Lovejoy 

Mrs. Thompson: Logan Wilbur  

Freda: CassiLyn Wilbur 

Dead body of George: Owen Moses  

Sheila: Elliot Maldonado  

Maid: Per Lisy 

Ninah Rein

Ninah Rein

Writer at Mount Desert Islander
Ninah Rein, an MDI native, covers the town of Bar Harbor. She is glad to be back in Maine after earning a bachelor's degree in San Diego from the University of California.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.