This spring, another musical theatre event will hit the boards of the Gracie Theatre on the campus of Husson University, but with a twist. Spoon River Anthology is a blending of poetry, song and video projection art which celebrates our American heritage.
Based upon the poetic masterwork by Edgar Lee Masters, this theatrical adaptation was first presented by the Theater Group at U.C.L.A. and then made a successful transition to Broadway’s Booth Theatre in 1963. Conceived and adapted by Charles Aidman from the Theater Group, this combination of music and performance art visits the “haunts” of a fictional small town in Illinois, at the beginning of the 20th Century. The graveyard souls of this town are driven to speak to us about their lives, loves and longings. From their experiences, we gain a deeper understanding of ourselves, our roots and the complex diversity that has created the American character.
The production has grown out of the curriculum of the New England School of Communications newest degree program – Entertainment Production. This professional training program focuses on the professional skill sets of the entertainment industry. Spoon River and its inhabitants are brought to life through the combination of the technical crafts of stage lighting and projection design with the immediacy of live performance. The creative energy of the students within the program has constructed an exciting blend of visual, musical and performance art.
Led by NESCom’s stage director Ken Stack, music director John Haskell, and designers Brave Williams and Jeff Farrell, a talented cast of student and community performers have come together to bring Edgar Lee Masters’ poetry to life. Student performers include Arnold Champion, Ben Fields, Whitney Proctor, Britney Rezendes, Alexandra Todd and Bill Vassar. These NESCom students will create the many inhabitants of Spoon River, alongside the musical talents of local community performers – Darlene Cooley Mogul, Susan Patten, Rob Roper and Chuck Somers.
Spoon River Anthology will be performed for two nights, April 26 and 27, at 8:00 PM at the Gracie. General admission tickets are available at the door, the night of each performance. ($5 regular admission – $3 student admission) No advance reservations are required.