PORTLAND — “Mary’s Wedding,” the emotionally charged drama that opened over the weekend at Portland Stage Company, tells a heartbreaking story of love and loss on the Canadian prairie.

It’s a two-actor play featuring Annie Purcell and Todd Lawson. Purcell plays Mary Chalmers, who is left behind in her quiet prairie town while her beau, Charlie Edwards, goes off to fight in the trenches of France during World War I.

Both actors have extensive New York credits on Broadway and elsewhere, and both find themselves in difficult, challenging roles in this play.

But much of the heavy lifting associated with “Mary’s Wedding” falls on the shoulders of the Portland Stage design and technical teams. The narrative of the play is actually a dream, which occurs on the eve of Mary’s wedding. In her dream, Mary recounts falling in love with Charlie and, with great remorse, sending him off to fight. His letters home recount the horrors of the front lines.

Director Daniel Burson makes his mainstage directorial debut with this play, and his task is bringing together the many elements of the story in a cohesive manner so the narrative makes sense to the audience.

The play is set in Mary’s bedroom, but includes scenes from an old barn and the trenches of France. Sound and lights play significant roles in the storytelling, as does the audience’s imagination.

Technicians on the play include set designer Anita Stewart, who is also the theater’s artistic and executive director; costume designer Susan Thomas; lighting designer Bryon Winn; and sound designer David Remedios.

Shane Van Vliet is the stage manager.

The show runs about 90 minutes without an intermission. 

Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or at:

[email protected]


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