Playing with modern religion

Road Shows
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  September 12, 2012

A Maine playwright, director, and cast of four are taking the Big Apple this month, but before they do, we have the chance to see them right here in Portland: Dominion, a new play by writer and actor Hal Cohen, will premiere next week at Lucid Stage, in advance of its run as part of the Manhattan Repertoire Theater's Fall One-Act Competition. Stephanie Ross directs the traveling cast in Cohen's drama about deepening and losing one's religion.

Dominion brings together characters with differing perspectives toward faith. One man, a naïve young actor (Andrew Sawyer), has been cast (or perhaps miscast) as Jesus in an interactive staging of Biblical stories. He is joined in his theater by two women: One is Miriam (Beth Sommerville), a reporter who seeks the scoop on a contentious, far-right Christian sect whose adherents follow something called Dominionism. The second is fragile Ruth (Sam Gray), who has suffered a recent tragedy and looks to find spiritual solace with the Dominionists and their minister (Corey Gagne). Playwright Cohen's tagline for the show, he says, is: "Every day people dig deeper into their religiosity and every day people walk away from their faith entirely. This is one of those days."

After first running Dominion on home turf, the cast will perform in New York from September 27 through 29 for an audience-juried competition among 34 other one-act plays. After all competing shows have run and been judged, the top four picks will be invited back for a finalists' round, the winner of which will receive $1000. And it is the pledge of Cohen (who himself acted in last year's MRP's competition, as part of David Vazdauskas's ON) that should his play win, the goods go to his cast and director.

In the meantime, you can help raise travel funds for Dominion by attending either of two benefit performances next week — on Monday, September 17, and Tuesday, September 18, at 7:30 pm — both of which will be followed by an audience talkback.

  Topics: Theater , Theater, Stephanie Ross, Hal Cohen,  More more >
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