FARMINGTON, ME (March 5, 2019)— University of Maine at Farmington Theatre would like to announce the performance of the Spring Mainstage production, a double-bill featuring Madeleine George’s “The Most Massive Woman Wins” and the premiere of “something which was never mine,” an original work of devised theatre, created by the ensemble under the direction of Melissa C. Thompson, UMF assistant professor of performing arts.
Performances are in the Alumni Theater from Thursday-Saturday, March 7, 8, 9 at 7:30pm, and March 10 at 2pm. There will be a post-show talkback with the cast immediately following the performance on Friday, March 8. All are welcome to attend.
In honor of Women’s History Month, these two pieces explore the experiences of women and femmes and the ways in which both individual people and social institutions can approach them body-first, rather than person-first. In combination, these two performances probe important social and political issues regarding women’s agency and the value society places on women’s conformity to socially-constructed ideals of beauty and sexuality.
In The Most Massive Woman four total strangers meet in a liposuction clinic. As they wait for their appointments with the doctor, they go on journeys from the past to present, reliving their respective histories from the first moments they learned their bodies were “problems” needing to be fixed to the critical events that led them to choose plastic surgery.
The second performance on the program is the debut of something which was never mine, an original performance collaboratively created by the acting ensemble. After reading the Sonya Renee Taylor poem “The Body Is Not an Apology,” the ensemble spent weeks investigating the ways women’s bodies are viewed and treated within society, entertainment and interpersonal relationships. These discussions, in conjunction with extensive physical theatre training, ultimately led the ensemble to develop a piece that is an empowering testimony to personal agency.
“I’m delighted to be working on two shows with these themes,” said director Melissa C. Thompson. “With movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp, we are currently in a cultural moment where women have opened up a hard-won space in the cultural conversation where they can engage in frank public discussion regarding the ways their bodies are treated by both individual people and social institutions. These performances open up conversations that are absolutely vital at this time.”
“This creative process has been a space where women and feminine-of-center people can speak to the experiences that they find crucial and powerful. We span an array of issues that we think many audience members can connect to,” Thompson added.
The performance ensemble consists of:
Gail Bello – Waltham, Mass.
Audrey Bradbury – Eastport
Simoane Lowel – Clinton
Kenzie McMahon – Rockland
Brittany Paradis – Jay
Samantha Wood – Franklin, N.H.
Ripley Biggs, stage manager – Saco
Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5 for students with I.D. For tickets, please call the Alumni Theatre Box office at 207-778-7465.
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Media Contact: Melissa Thompson, UMF assistant professor of performing arts, firstname.lastname@example.org
UMF Associate Director for Media Relations