Friday, May 24, 2013
By Bob Keyes firstname.lastname@example.org
When Camden playwright Robert Manns approached Lucid Stage director Liz McMahon about producing a quartet of short plays, he expected what he has heard from most other theater companies in Maine: An emphatic "no."
Nick Buck and Amanda Moreland rehearse a scene from “Elephant Mountain Murder,” one of four short plays running Thursday through Sunday at Lucid Stage in Portland. “The Maine Quartet,” which includes dramas and comedies, is the brainchild of Camden playwright Robert Manns.
Margit Ahlin photo
'THE MAINE QUARTET'
WHEN: 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Lucid Stage, 29 Baxter Blvd., Portland
HOW MUCH: $15
INFO: 899-3993; lucidstage.com
But McMahon has a reputation for listening to pitches with an open mind, and she liked what she heard.
She said "yes."
Lucid Stage in Portland will produce Manns' "Maine Quartet," a collection of short plays that includes dramas and comedies, Thursday through Sunday.
Al D'Andrea, artistic director of Snowlion Repertory Company, will direct a cast of 10 veteran Portland-area actors.
"Robert Manns has a pretty illustrious career as a playwright, but he has been retired many years, and not too many people know about him in Maine," McMahon said. "He came to me and had a very heartfelt plea, and said, 'Look, I have this group of short plays that have never been produced. I would like to see them performed in my lifetime.' How do you say no to that?"
But McMahon is quick to add that she committed Lucid Stage to this project because of the quality of the work and not out of sympathy for an elderly gentleman.
"The content of these plays is very, very good, and summer is not generally a time for serious theater in Maine. We thought it would be a good time to present something like this," she said.
Now in his mid-80s, Manns has published 15 full-length plays and more than 30 one-acts. At least two of his shows have been produced in New York. He has lived in Camden for more than a decade.
"He's got a lot of history behind him, and this seemed like a good opportunity for us," McMahon said. "We're doing this on a very low budget, without bells and whistles. This is all about artistic content and the opportunity to put these shows in the hands of a director with a nice cast."
Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or: