The cast of “Of Murder and Madness” looking gloomy at Footlights Theatre. Image courtesy of Footlights Theatre

Footlights Theatre in Falmouth dedicates its fall lineup to a pair of scripts by Maine writers: “Of Murder and Madness” by Josh Gauthier, opening Thursday, and “Papermaker” by Monica Wood, opening Nov. 7.

“Of Murder and Madness” is a thriller set in a remote motel in northern Maine, where two men are holed up while police investigate a murder. They can outrun the cops but can’t outrun their secrets.

Director Michael Tobin was seeking a thriller without gore. “Josh’s play is exactly that, with a surprise ending that keep people on the edge of their seats,” Tobin said. “I want people to use their imaginations, to be scared not by what they see and hear, but by what they can’t explain.”

The cast stars Hal Cohen, Eric Darrow Worthley, Victoria Machado, Brian Chadbourne, Andrea McKinnon Ganske and Matthew Francis.

Beginning Nov. 7, Footlights presents “Papermaker,” a play about a labor strike in a union town. Wood, who lives in Portland, set the play in Maine and based it on her early fiction, “Ernie’s Ark.” Portland Stage debuted it in 2015. Tobin said it represents the economic and social struggles of working-class families today.

“Monica Wood is such an accomplished writer and her play brings honest human emotion to the stage, not just the impassioned upheaval and conflict the Maine paper mill strike creates, but the effect it has on family relationships and how the branches of the family tree are tested, and broken, during turbulent times,” he said.



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