In the spirit of giving back, donations to local food pantries accepted as admission to performances
FARMINGTON, ME (November 21, 2023)—The University of Maine at Farmington is bringing together a stellar cast of professional, alumni and student actors for its fall workshop production of “All the Good They Gave Us” and “Migratory Birds,” two award-winning plays by playwright and director Jayne Decker.
Performances take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7, 8 and 9 at 7:00 p.m., in the Performance Space in the Emery Community Arts Center on the UMF campus.
Visiting actors Tim Wheeler and Lisa Stathoplos will join UMF alumni Jonas Maines ’19 and Hailey Craig ’20 and student actors Justin Reid and Eva Tebbutt in these two heartfelt productions.
All the Good They Gave Us, is a play that offers a gentle and moving exploration of the relationship between an Irish father and his adult daughter. When their former neighbors return to the house next door, they are all forced to confront a family secret that binds them together. Written by Jayne Decker, playwright, director, author and UMF principal lecturer for Theater, the play was awarded the 2023 Maine Literary Drama Award.
Migratory Birds is a one-act play about a single dad who can’t pay his rent on a house where the owner can’t afford to pay his mortgage and how their clash impacts the people around them. Decker’s play was a finalist in drama for the Maine Literary Awards in 2022.
“Theatre is a powerful force that can bring us inside the experience of others. As a playwright, I’m grateful for this group of actors—our students and alumni performing with our visiting artists, Tim and Lisa—who traveled to our campus to workshop these new plays,” said Decker.
Decker has directed numerous productions at UMF Alumni Theater. Her production, “Coyote on a Fence,” was awarded a Moss Hart Memorial Award by the New England Theatre Conference, New England’s oldest and largest regional theater association. She has also presented workshop productions of her original plays “Good Medicine;” “Stars Falling,” winner of the 2002 Maine Playwriting Award; “Jelly Moonshine;” and “Songbird,” a touring play about the Iraq War.
“Cracked Shells,” an original play by Decker about domestic violence, was commissioned by Franklin County Network’s Peace in Our Families and was featured again at the 2009 Maine Women’s Studies Conference. Her play “Ruby Red, a Moment in the Life of” was a finalist in drama for the Maine Literary Awards in 2021.
Stathoplos has worked as a stage, voice, and film actor for over forty years. Most recently appearing as Helen in Roland Tec’s enthusiastically received World Premiere of his haunting play, “What We Get To Keep,” in co-production with PinkPlot Productions and The Hill Arts, Portland, Maine.
Wheeler’s extensive performance experience includes Brutus, Dogberry, and Petruchio at Nebraska Shakespeare Festival; Simeon in “Desire Under the Elms”at Berkshire Theatre Festival; Jim in “The Weir” at Pittsburgh Public Theatre, and Oedipus in “Oedipus the King” at the Pearl Theater NYC
In a seasonal effort to help local non-profit organizations address food insecurity and unhoused individuals, “Call to Give Back” donations will be accepted as admission to the performances. Donations can be made at the box office by cash or check to noted organizations. Nonperishable food items can also be dropped off at the performance for the Thrifty Beaver and St. Joseph’s Food Pantry.
Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling Shari Witham with the Department of Arts and Humanities at 778-7425.
Migratory Birds, the second performance of the evening, contains adult content and language. Themes and story are intended for a mature audience.
“All the Good They Gave Us”
James – Tim Wheeler
*Annie – Hailey Craig ‘20
*Caleb – Jonas Maines ‘19
Lydia – Lisa Stathoplos
Cara – Eva Tebbutt, from Farmington
Martin – Justin Reid, from Portland
Dan – Jonas Maines
Playwright and Workshop Staging – Jayne Decker
Technical Director and Workshop Scene, Sound, Lighting Design – Stan Spilecki
Stage Manager – Jo LeMahieu, from Concord, N.H.
Assistant Stage Manager – Gwen Lombard, from Farmington
Director’s Assistant – Aidan Mulrooney, from Farmington
Costumes – Student Designers in collaboration – Jo LeMahieu and Gwen Lombard
Running crew – AJ Booth, from Farmington; Liam Peacock, from Sandgate, Ver.; Gwen Lombard; Aidan Mulrooney
Box office – Kelly Gentilo , from Bethesda, Md.
Media Contact: Jayne Decker, award-winning director and UMF faculty member, email@example.com
More on University of Maine at Farmington
A nationally-recognized public liberal arts college known for its commitment to teacher preparation and student success, UMF provides a challenging yet supportive environment to prepare students for both careers and further study. Rooted in a tradition of teacher preparation, UMF offers top quality programs in the arts and sciences, teacher preparation, and pre-professional studies. Located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region, UMF is a welcoming, close-knit academic community that prepares students for enriching professional careers, engaged citizenship and an enduring love of learning.
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Photo Credit: Submitted Image
Photo Caption: Jayne Decker, playwright, director, author and UMF principal lecturer for Theater
Photo Credit: Submitted Image