With Season 36, Mad Horse Theater Compan at 24 Mosher St., South Portland, plans to present a season of alluring and provocative plays that explore the issues we face in our increasingly chaotic world. These four productions were selected for their ability to examine the enduring aspects of the human experience with humor, intelligence and empathy.
The theme for this season is “Homecoming”. Specifically, our season explores the idea of what it means to be at home. For some, the “Home” is a place where you feel safe; a place where you feel emotional warmth and feel surrounded by love and affection; Yet at the same time, in some cultures, a home isn’t just where you are, it’s who you are.
Each of these four productions explores an element of being at home. Haven’t we all longed for the “safe harbor” of home in the moments of reflection or nostalgia in our lives, as Mae does in You Got Older? How do house concepts influence our expectations in life as they do with the Mad Hatter and the March Hare while waiting for Alice? How do house concepts relate to a person’s identity as explored in Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties. Finally, how healthy is the feeling of being at home when so many people live in a world increasingly defined by exile, homelessness or despair, as Homer puts it in The Odyssey ? Ultimately, this season explores how different home concepts reflect different states of mind in an increasingly off-center world.
The organizers also hope to continue our Artist Chit Chat virtual series which was so fun and successful last season.
“You Got Older” by Clare Barron and directed by Reba Askari is scheduled for October 7-31.
Dumped and fired by her boyfriend / boss, Mae assumes her life can’t get any worse, until her father contracts a rare and aggressive form of cancer. You Got Older is a dark comedy about coming of age as your youth crumbles behind you. Sexual desire, fantastic cowboys, high school boyfriends, and family are all part of Mae’s hilarious and emotional journey. Barron isn’t afraid to tackle the smallest details of sex and death and explore the awkward moments that occur in moments of passage.
“Waiting For Alice” by Allison McCall and directed by Chris Defillip will be staged February 3-27.
The production was produced last season as part of the virtual series By Local.
The play explores the question: What happens at the Mad Tea Party before Alice arrives… or does she never do? The Mad Hatter, the March Hare and the Dormouse are sometimes joined by the Cheshire Cat while they are having fun around their tea table, still stuck at 6 a.m.
Originally written for PortFringe 2015, the initial idea was inspired by conversations with young actors during rehearsals for Alice in Wonderland at the Children’s Museum and Theater of Maine. Waiting for Alice delves into the urgency of rituals and investigates Carroll’s Wonderland through an absurd lens inspired by Beckett and Ionesco.
“Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties” by Jen Silverman, directed by Hannah Cordes is scheduled for April 28 through May 22.
Betty is rich; Betty is alone; Betty is busy working on their truck; Betty wants to talk about love, but Betty needs to hit something. And Betty continues to use a small hand mirror to look into parts of herself they’ve never examined. Five different characters named Betty collide at the intersection of Anger, Sex and “Thea-Tah”.
Each of the five Betties tries to figure out who she is in relation to her loved ones and herself. Each one goes through a personal journey and a transformation. What do they want out of life? The 5 Betties ostensibly offers a lesbian / bicurious / genderqueer / Shakespearean comedy for everyone, but ultimately they’re about the anger, love, and loneliness of modern life.
“Homecoming: An Odyssey” is a one-season design project led by a team of designers and artists working collaboratively over a nine-month period. The project aspires to create a totally original production inspired by Homer’s Odyssey but transcending a linear narrative to explore the theme of homecoming. It will challenge and inspire artists and audience members to think about what a production can be.
The project will begin at the start of the season in September and culminate with a final installation in June 2022. Throughout the season, we will invite you to discover the original and innovative work of the collective of designers and artists.
The theater now offers its entire season of productions as pay-what-you-decide (PWYD). This means that every production, every performance, every person pays for what you decide. This is how it works:
Make a free reservation, come see the show and make a payment when you leave the theater.
Currently, Mad Horse requires masks for all members of the public and vaccination or proof of a negative PCR test from the previous 48 hours or a negative rapid test from the previous 12 hours. Testing includes children under 12, who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The same is expected of all staff, volunteers and performers at the Mad Horse event.
For more information call 207-747-4148 or visit madhorse.com.
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