Locals have just a few more chances – Wednesday, May 25 through Saturday, May 29, to be exact – to attend a southern Maine showing of the movie “The Congressman,” which features a role by Freeport High School drama director Tim Ryan.

“The Congressman” will be shown on those dates at the Frontier Cafe in Brunswick. Ryan, who has a side career in professional acting, plays the role of a radical conservative in the independent movie that stars Treat Williams, George Hamilton, Fritz Weaver and Ryan Merriman. The film is about an eight-term Maine congressman who loses faith in the system but comes back to fight the corruption.

The movie is the directorial debut of Robert J. Mrazek, a former New York representative who served in Congress for 10 years. It is now on the art-house movie theater circuit, Ryan said.

“I had a pretty cool scene where I get to yell and swear at the lead star Treat Williams,” said Ryan.

In addition to Ryan, 10 former students from Freeport High appear as extras.

“The producers were very cool in letting some of the students help out on the tech end,” Ryan said. “It was a great experience for all.”

Ryan, 50, lives in Lisbon but is looking to move back to Freeport. He also is an educational technician at Freeport High.

“But most people probably know me from my other jobs in the RSU 5 such as FHS One Act drama director (14 years) and the Durham Community School drama director (six years),” he said. “I am also a professional actor. What does that mean in Maine? Unfortunately not much as far as being able to make a living as an actor. However, professional acting jobs are available from time to time.”

Ryan answered questions regarding “The Congressman” for the Tri-Town Weekly.

Q: The last area showings of “The Congressman” are May 25-29, at Frontier Cafe in Brunswick. Are there any other ways for Maine people to see it?

A: As of now, that is the last local showing. There is also a showing May 27-29 in Bucksport at the Alamo Theater. I’m sure there will be more, and of course the DVD/Bluray will be released. My advice is to keep checking the film’s website, www.thecongressmanmovie.com. Or better yet, ask your local movie theater to book the film.

Q: How long have you been a professional actor? Take us back to the early days.

A: I’ve been acting for over 20 years now. The first eight years it was strictly theater/stage shows. But in 2003, I pretty much (talked) my way into an audition for the HBO film’s mini-series “Empire Falls,” which was filming in Maine. I inferred that I was a member of the Screen Actors Guild and got a 1-on-1 audition with the casting people. I read the 300-plus page book that the miniseries was based on in like two days. I nailed the audition. I could tell that the powers that be really liked me for the role of Brian the alcoholic busboy (Buster in the novel) and I got the part despite telling the producers that I was not a union member afterward. The filmed starred Paul Newman (his last acting role), Ed Harris, Aidan Quinn, Helen Hunt, Dennis Farina, Joanne Woodward, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Wright. I got to work with most of them. I made good money ($1,200 a day on the average). I had lines, my own dressing room, and appeared in many scenes in the three-hour-plus movie. The role opened many many doors for me. Not necessarily on a national level but definitely on a state/New England level. I’ve worked on many independent feature films since then and have done commercials, graphic novels, film shorts, etc. In 2008 I filmed a TV pilot with comedian Bob Marley called “Wicked Pissers” that was based on his standup routines. The pilot was written and directed by the writers and producers of hit show, “Third Rock from the Sun.” Thanks to this networking is how I got the part of the “Burly Man” aka lead protestor in the new film “The Congressman.” Over the course of time I became known in the state of Maine as the guy who can play the angry boss/scumbag/alcoholic/profane Joe the Plumber type of guy.

Q: What do you like about playing a Tea Party type in the movie?

A: It was a short scene. I was only originally supposed to be in that one scene, when I scream at lead actor Treat Williams with my megaphone and he tells me exactly where I should shove my megaphone. Then almost a year after the scene was filmed, (director) Bob Mrazek called me asking if I would be interested in reprising the role in another scene. This time my character is in the audience while Treat William’s character gives a Frank Capra-like speech and what it means to be American. It is the climax of the movie. Bob wanted me in the audience reacting like a Tea Party member would react to the speech from a liberal Democrat. It would also mean I get to swear at Treat Williams again. These type of parts are a blast to play because they are extreme while everyone else around you in a scene is “normal.” So those parts tend to be memorable to the audience despite being in the scene for less than a minute.

Q: Tell us about the work of the three Freeport High School alumni in the film.

A: Actually, at the time of filming those alumni were current students of Freeport High School. James Stiles, the casting director, asked me to spread the word for extras for the protest scene. So I posted the extras notice on my Facebook page, as well as blasted the notice out to all of my email contacts. Then I thought nothing of it. When the shooting day arrived, it was on a Tuesday, I arrived at the set at like 6:30 a.m. When I started to look for the people in charge I hear this voice screaming, “Hey Tim! Over here!” I look over and there are like 10 Freeport High School students, waving and cheering. They had obviously read my notice and they had also obviously skipped school to do it. Luckily, all had parental permission.

Well, long story short, it didn’t take long for these students to assimilate themselves in the world of filmmaking. Some students acted as extras while other students, like Daniel Sinclair, wanted to learn about the behind-the-scenes tech end of making a movie. In Daniel’s case he wanted to learn everything about sound. The tech crew members were so nice that they took these students under their wings and let them learn literally on the job. Daniel actually ran sound during some of the takes of the scene I was filming. Matt Hurd, who was an alumni of FHS, was hired as a production assistant for the duration of the rest of the filming. When you watch the scene, about one third of the people on camera are affiliated with Freeport High School in some way. It was a little surreal and a lot of fun. And at the end of the day the students were very surprised when they were paid for their efforts.

Tim Ryan, drama director at Freeport High School, yells in Treat Williams’ ear between scenes in the filming of “The Congressman.”