For the second time since December, the Portland theater community is dealing with a tragedy involving one of its own. Keith Powell Beyland, founder and artistic director of Dramatic Repertory Company, had a stroke in late September and is receiving care at New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Portland.

While DRC’s season is on hold, friends of Beyland who are actors, directors and designers are planning to read the plays he had selected for the season to help raise money for his medical bills. They’ve also begun a fundraising site. As of Thursday evening, almost $11,000 of the $75,000 goal had been pledged.

About 30 people gathered Monday night to film a message for Beyland. “We can’t do anything directly for Keith, but we felt we had to do something,” said set designer and photographer Craig Robinson. “We want to support Keith and his family and let them know we’re thinking of him.”

Vanessa Winfield Beyland said her husband is improving. He suffered a stroke while at home in Portland in the early afternoon of Sept. 26. She and the couple’s 4-year-old daughter, Keely, found Beyland, who is 43, on the floor when they returned home at 1:30 p.m.

Initially, Keely thought her father was teasing, as he often does. “We thought he was being dramatic,” Vanessa Beyland said. “I thought he was kidding around. It’s not unusual to find him laying on the floor. Keely will run up and tickle him, and then he’ll jump up and grab her.”

It quickly became apparent something was wrong, and Vanessa Beyland called 911.

Doctors at Maine Medical Center performed surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain. He was transferred to New England Rehab on Oct. 8.

Vanessa Beyland said her husband is doing well. The stroke was on the left side of his body, which affected motor skills on the right. He has regained some function of his right leg. His right arm has been slower to respond, and he has not regained his speech. He seems to understand what people are saying to him, his wife said.

“He recognizes us, and we can talk to him. He seems to respond appropriately,” she said. “There are a lot of things he wants to tell you, but he just doesn’t have the ability. As a lover of language and communication, it’s frustrating for him. Words are so important to Keith. He loves to see them on the page and to read them.”

Last December, American Irish Repertory Ensemble co-founders Tony and Susan Reilly were involved in an auto accident on the Massachusetts Turnpike while driving to New Jersey for the Christmas holiday. Susan Reilly died in the crash, and her husband lost a leg. He was in a coma several weeks.

After months of recovering and therapy, he returned to his home in South Portland in May and has begun acting again. He is appearing in the current production of “Dancing at Lughnasa” at Portland Stage. He participated in Monday’s video greeting.

“We had a big, long hug,” Vanessa Beyland said of Reilly. “I am so impressed with Tony’s recuperation and perseverance. That is a motivating factor for Keith. We just watched a friend go through the worst thing you can imagine and come out on the other side.”

The response of the whole theater community has been uplifting, she said.

“I think the two things that will get Keith through this are his daughter, No. 1, and his love for the Portland theater community and his friends. People are not just telling Keith, ‘We hope you get well.’ They are saying, ‘We need your voice back in our community. We need what you do.’ That is a very different statement than, ‘We hope you are feeling better.'”

Dramatic Rep is known for producing sharp, challenging contemporary plays, most of which have not been staged north of Boston.

“We all love Keith,” actor Peter Brown said. “We all adore Keith. He is such a vital part of our community.”

Brown has organized three nights of readings of plays that DRC has on the schedule this season: “Quills,” “Venus in Fur” and “Cock.” The readings will be Nov. 5-7 at the studio theater at Portland Stage Company, where DRC was scheduled to open its season Nov. 6 with “Cock.”

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