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  • Robert Lathers

Summer Theatre Performances This Weekend

One of Portland’s quiet little treasures, the Portland Summer Theatre, involving over 200 Portland Youth hosts six dynamic performances this weekend.

For more than 20 years the Portland Civic Players has hosted the Summer Theatre Program for youth entering the fourth through twelfth grades. The six-week program starts with two weeks of basic skills, fun and games culminating with try-outs where the participants are each cast into one of three plays. Then for four weeks the participants attend daily two-hour rehearsals. Summer Theater concludes with six performances on the final weekend. Friends, family members and the public are invited to attend.

Tickets for each performance can be purchased at the door, prior to the performance, at $6.00 per person. There are no advance ticket sales.

The three plays this year include:

“I Hate Shakespeare” - Weds., July 25 @ 7:00 PM and Saturday, July 28 @ 3:00.

“Heading for the Hills”- Thursday, July 26 and Saturday 28, both performances @ 7:00 PM.

“Once on this Island, Jr. -Friday, July 27@7:00 PM and Sunday @ 3:00 PM.

A release from Portland Civic Players provided the following rundown of the performances:

“I Hate Shakespeare! At least that's what the audience thinks until they get a rip-roaring rundown of Shakespeare's classics. With zombies and talking cows, among other things, I Hate Shakespeare! is a hilarious and fast-paced introduction to Shakespeare -- with a modern twist. Plus, someone gets a pie in the face! Directed by Sara Pohl.”

“In Headin' For The Hills, directed by Rory Miller, you'll meet the Tollivers and the Calhouns who have been feuding for 200 years. This makes things difficult for Emmy Lou Tolliver and Lee Roy Calhoun, who could be called the “Romeo and Juliet of the Hills.” The story of this age-old family feud even appears in the tabloid “Strange But True,” which inspires New York publishing houses to send agents to sign up the families for a book deal. Add some Hollywood agents looking for a movie deal, and you’ve got a rip-snortin’ comedy! Whatever you do, don’t you dare say the word “hillbilly” to Paw or he’ll get his overalls in a bunch!”

“Once On This Island, Jr. is a theatrical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s popular fairy tale, The Little Mermaid. Directed by Devann Hattis, the musical is about Ti Moune, a peasant girl who falls in love above her class. The story is told around a fire by a group of Caribbean peasants as they wait out a terrible storm. When a bet is placed on Ti Moune by the gods of her island testing the strength of love against the power of death, she is sent on a journey to discover what her life was fated to be.”

Photos courtesy of Portland Civic Players

#1 Headin' For The Hills from L to R: Ryan Watkins, Cadence Weller-Parkhurst, Melody Merrill, Jacob Vroman, Kait Kmetz, Bryson Krieger

#2 I Hate Shakespeare from back L to R: Belle Meeker, Ally Saint Amour, Mary-Elizabeth Wohlfert, Annabelle Bower, Katherine Pung, Front L to R: Ethan Pung, Sam Thelen, Ally Logel, Simon White

#3 Once On This Island, Jr. from L to R: Mekbul Timmer, Grace Timmer, Marriah Lawler, Sabrina Grindey, Avery Martin

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