Nobody expects the Festival

The Portland Stage Company’s 18th annual Little Festival of the Unexpected
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  May 9, 2007

It’s time, once again, for something theatrically different: Portland Stage Company’s 18th annual Little Festival of the Unexpected. Since its debut in1990, the Little Festival has been an opportunity for chosen playwrights, in residence throughout the production of their works, to further develop their scripts with the feedback of actors, directors, and audience members. The Little Festival will feature staged readings by PSC’s Affiliate Artists of winning scripts from 2006’s prestigious Clauder Competition, and for the first time will be joined by works from a new initiative, the Young Writers Project.

Tension and temptation run the Grand Prize-winning script, Magnetic North, by William Donnelly. In this play, which will receive its world premiere on the PSC Mainstage in April 2008, a young husband in crisis courts shadows when he meets a woman from his past. As the Gold Prize winner, Monica Raymond’s The Owl Girl concerns itself with two families living, playing, and vying in the same house, along with one girl’s stricken dreams of flying.

Also appearing at this year’s Little Festival is a work by accomplished thespian Daniel Noel, written for this summer’s bicentennial birthday celebration of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. In his original play, Longfellow: A Life in Words, he weaves phrasing from the poet’s memoirs, letters, poems, and plays, along with the words of his friends and family. Via a pastiche of scenes, Noel’s script will portray the man as warm and enduringly relevant to today’s culture.

For the inaugural Young Writers Project, PSC’s Affiliate Artists received 10-minute script submissions from schools across central and southern Maine, and chose three that they found particularly creative and theatrical: In The Cool Kids, by Hilary Hanson of Rockland; Appointments, by Gina Stevensen of Cape Elizabeth; and Dammit Janet, by Westbrook’s Sagan Clifford.

Performances run through May12, will be held in the Portland Performing Arts Center’s Studio Theater, and are pay-what-you-can. For a complete play schedule, go to http://www.portlandstage.com/Literary.html#LittleFestival or call 207.774.0465.

Email the author
Megan Grumbling: mgrumbling@hotmail.com

Related: On Portland’s poet, Myth and legend, Grave Spotting, More more >
  Topics: Theater , Entertainment, Media, Poetry,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY MEGAN GRUMBLING
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   TRAUMATIC IRONY  |  October 15, 2014
    A creaky old oceanfront Victorian. Three adult siblings who don’t like each other, plus a couple of spouses. A codicil to their father’s will that requires them to spend an excruciating week together in the house. And, of course, various ghosts.
  •   OVEREXTENDED FAMILY  |  October 11, 2014
    “I’m inclined to notice the ruins in things,” ponders Alfieri (Brent Askari). He’s recalling the downfall of a longshoreman who won’t give up a misplaced, misshapen love, a story that receives a superbly harrowing production at Mad Horse, under the direction of Christopher Price.   
  •   SOMETHING'S GOTTA FALL  |  October 11, 2014
    While it hasn’t rained on the Curry family’s 1920’s-era ranch in far too long, the drought is more than literal in The Rainmaker .
  •   SURPASSED MENAGERIE  |  October 03, 2014
    Do Buggeln and Vasta make a Glass Menagerie out of Brighton Beach Memoirs? Well, not exactly.
  •   WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU FABRIC  |  October 01, 2014
    One of the risks of being raised on PBS children’s programming, apparently, is the realization that one is not as special or as destined for greatness, in the grown-up world, as Big Bird seemed to let on.

 See all articles by: MEGAN GRUMBLING