Audrey Rumsby, Nada Rowand, and Mike Ryan in "Complications From a Fall" at the Jewel Theatre in Monterey, Calif., in 2015. (Photo by Steve Barto)

Portland Stage Announces 2017-18 Season

The Maine theatre slates 3 production by male authors and 5 by female writers, including a new adaptation of ‘Babette’s Feast.’

PORTLAND, MAINE: Portland Stage Company has announced its 2017-18 mainstage season, featuring several new plays, including one world premiere.

“It is always inspiring to have a group of people who see a body of work, start to finish,” said Anita Stewart, Portland Stage executive and artistic director, in a statement. “I greatly appreciate the willingness of our audience to venture with us on a wide range of theatrical journeys. I’m especially excited about the lineup for the upcoming season, which includes several new plays that I think audiences will like.”

The season kicks off with Lanie Robertson’s Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (Sept. 19-Oct. 15), which tells Billie Holiday’s life story by imagining one of her last performances, in 1959.

Next is Kate Hawley’s Complications From a Fall (Oct. 24-Nov. 12), a family drama about a woman who leaves her elderly mother to attend a conference, and calls on an absent brother for help.

Joe Landry’s holiday favorite It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play follows (Nov. 24-Dec. 24), with the classic film retold as a 1940s radio broadcast, complete with live sound effects.

The new year begins with a staging of Babette’s Feast (Jan. 23-Feb. 18, 2018), conceived and developed by Abigail Killeen and written by Rose Courtney, adapting Isak Dinesen’s short story. The story (which was also an Oscar-winning Danish film in 1987) follows a refugee who transforms a closed religious community by sacrificing all she has to throw a lavish dinner party.

Michael Hollinger’s Red Herring is next (Feb. 27-March 25, 2018), telling the tale of a Boston cop trailing—and falling for—a sly crime boss who got away, all the while being pursued by an FBI gumshoe with his own proposal in mind.

Next is Eleanor Burgess’s The Niceties (April 3-22, 2018), about a biracial student who meets to discuss her paper about slavery and the American Revolution with her white professor.

Following that is the world premiere of Marisa Smith’s Sex and Other Disturbances (May 1-20, 2018), a comedy about infidelity and the collapse of Western civilization.

In addition to Portland Stage’s mainstage season, it will copresent with Maine State Music Theatre The All Night Strut! (Aug. 15-Sept. 10), Fran Charnas’s musical revue of songs from the Depression and World War II, including classics by Hoagy Carmichael, Frank Loesser, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Cab Calloway, and the Gershwins.

Founded in 1974 as Profile Theater, Portland Stage is Maine’s largest fully professional nonprofit theatre, and is committed to providing the finest productions for audiences in a broad region of Northern New England.

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