Dear Friends of River Company,
Theater has been knocked for six in the past few months. For us, our 2020 season has been turned on its head, then turned inside out, and then thrown out the window! Back in March, we had just had our first rehearsal of Karmo Sanders' Homer Bound at Skidompha Library's Porter Hall. I remember the energy being really positive. Later that week, we got news that the Library was to cancel all programming until further notice – a decision taken early, and in hindsight it was exceptionally prudent and well done. We're hoping to revisit Homer Bound in 2021.
Rather than let this year slip by, we're doing our best to keep our theater active. To that end, we have some absolutely excellent news to share: River Company has won a grant from the Maine Arts Commission! Our project is to create a new play set in Maine, titled, The Witch of Harpswell. It is a collaborative project between director, actor, and River Company Board Secretary, Allison Eddyblouin, and James L. Nelson, award-winning author of historical maritime fiction and nonfiction and South Harpswell resident. “The play is based on the local folktale,” says Eddyblouin, “which is currently only available as a photocopied pamphlet at a Cundy’s Harbor gift shop.”
Allison and James have been engaged in social distanced scripting and dramatrugy over recent weeks. The plan is to craft a show performed entirely by children, as and when it is safe to do so. The project is funded in part by Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.
A lot of theater has appeared online. Myself, I've been really inspired by Scenes for Survival, which is a collaboration between BBC Scotland and the National Theatre for Scotland. These shows are quirky vignettes, about 10 minutes in length, and well worth exploring.
Here at River Company, we thought we'd continue our monthly YouTube video in a similar vein. The Spooky House was written by myself and I was lucky enough to have Christine Andersen perform the piece. It's about a woman who moves out of the city to a spooky new house.
The performance can be viewed below, or on our YouTube Channel. Please give us a "Like" and "Subscribe", if you are familiar with YouTube!
Dear Friends of River Company,
It's Mike here from River Company. Mallory has asked me to write the eblast this month. I will do my best to give it it's usual freshness and positivity that Mallory always imbues it with!
Well, welcome to July! How on earth did that happen?! Midsummer months are always unpredictable: there's so much energy in the air, whether that's literally thunder storms and drought busting deluges, or the many things folk are up to. Myself, I've taken to Saturday fishing on Damariscotta lake at 4am. It's so beautiful at that time of day, quiet and still. Then, when the heat hits in the afternoon, I nap.
July promises one great theater moment with the release of Hamilton on Disney+ this weekend. Like a lot of people, I'm so excited to see it for the first time and put some action to the fantastic soundtrack.
Second to that is River Company's own video-call-based performance being released today! Some members of our board have acted out a socially distanced version of George Bernard Shaw's one act play, "How He Lied To Her Husband." The cast is Allison Eddyblouin, Nick Azzaretti, and myself (Mike Lee) while Mallory Adams directing over Zoom. The four of us had a blast adapting the play to Lincoln County and the present day, while retaining most of the original dialogue. My favorite line is the perfectly absurd, "That's not a very nice thing to say after wasting my pet hand sanitizer."
We're asking folk to consider donating to the food pantry in lieu of a ticket, here: newcastlefoodpantry.org/
We really appreciate everyone who continues to support our theater group through membership and donation. Your invaluable help is even more gratefully received at the moment with the prospect of an actual play to go see seeming a long way off. But with your help, we'll be there for you when the time comes. You can support River Company, here: www.rivercompany.org/contact-us.html#join
Finally, the board would like to say a big "Thank you," to Lucy Smith who left the board last month. Your work and friendliness were very welcome and appreciated!
Thanks for reading, take care of yourselves and be well!
Mike Lee, River Company
Hello Friends of River Company and Happy 1st of June. Every June I can't help but sing the lyrics "June is bustin' out all over" from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel. Only recently did I learn that the scene in which the song was sung, in addition to many others, was filmed on location in Boothbay Harbor, Maine!
This June eblast is River Company's first in two months; the last eblast was sent in March. And needless to say, these past two months have been incredibly difficult in a variety of ways. And like all of you, the board of River Company is doing its best to navigate these strange new times.
A few weeks ago River Company held its bimonthly board meeting via zoom. Right now, so much is still unknown concerning our season and we plan to reevaluate at our next meeting in July whether having any kind of performance, whether it be outside or not, will be possible and safe. But we have decided to do a zoom live performance! Stay tuned for another email with performance times and access information.
We also decided to postpone mailing our newsletter and membership and plan to send it out in the fall, with hopefully a clearer plan for the holiday season and for 2021. Thank you all who have donated and renewed their membership in 2020. It is greatly appreciated. We now have a donate button and a membership subscription button on our website and if in the meantime you are so inclined to donate or join us, we humbly thank you.
"Fresh and alive and gay and young,
June is a love song, sweetly sung."
It's a new month, a new day, and singing those lyrics fills me with positivity - that there's always rebirth, new possibilities, and a chance for things to get better.
Wishing you all safety, health and happiness.
Mallory Adams, River Company President
Dear Friends and Members of River Company,
We began 2020 very excited to bring you a season full of delightful, Maine-themed shows, but due to the spread of the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, we feel it is best to modify our season in order to protect our wonderful community.
It is with a heavy heart that we postpone our spring production of “Homer Bound” by Karmo Sanders. Rather than do another Summer Shakespeare, we will instead focus on producing “Homer Bound” for an early fall production.
Right now, everything is very fluid and we are doing our best to monitor the situation and follow CDC recommendations and will continue to do so into the future. We still plan to send out our annual newsletter, just later this spring than usual. We still plan to have a children’s workshop in the fall and a holiday fundraiser in December.
River Company is so thankful for all our members, fans and supporters. Please stay tuned for more information going forward. We will try to keep everyone as up to date, via social media and email, as much as possible.
The Show Will Go On.
Mallory Adams - President of River Company
River Company will hold Open Auditions for its spring production, "Homer Bound," by Karmo Sanders. Auditions will be Friday March 6th and Saturday March 7th at 6-9 PM in Porter Hall at Skidompha Library. Audition forms will be provided along with character descriptions and sides. For more information, email the director at firstname.lastname@example.org
Congrats to the cast of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” thanks to all those who came out to audition and who joined up and to all the family members and friends that help make a production like this work! Mark your calendars for December 6 and 7 at 7 PM and December 8 at 3 PM. Only 3 performances and all ticket sales go to the food for our scholars programs at local schools.
To reserve tickets in advance call 207-522-2797 or to buy online visit: https://rivercompany.ticketspice.com/the-best-christmas-pageant-ever
This year’s cast:
Father: Mike Lee
Mother: Allison Eddyblouin
Beth: Lila Neptune-Benner
Charlie: Davis Awamleh
Ralph Herdman: Eli Jones
Imogene Herdman: Lilly Mae Awamleh
Leroy: Blaise Eddyblouin
Claudia Herdman: Willow Moores
Ollie Herdman: Kostja Stapp
Gladys Herdman: Ellie James Neptune-Benner
Elmer Hopkins: Micah Stapp
Maxine: Mercy Buchwalder
Alice: Marley Neptune-Benner
Hobie: Odysseus Neptune
Baby Angels: Charlotte Ramsdell, Agnes Eddyblouin, Clare Buchwalder
Fireman: Mert Apinwall
Reverend Hopkins: Sumner Richards
Mrs. Armstrong: Cynthia Seigars
Mrs. Slocum:Cassandra Neptune-Benner
Mrs. Clausing:Elisabeth Awamleh
Mrs. Clark: Mallory Adams
Mrs. McCarthy: Kerry Stapp
River Company will host its first Literary Salon on Wednesday, October 30th from 6-7:30 in the Porter Hall at Skidompha Library. This Literary Salon will be Halloween themed and children and parents are encouraged to come dressed in their Halloween Costumes. There will be fun games, halloween themed refreshments and dancing.
This Literary Salon will focus on the first book "The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Field Guide" in support of the partnership between Skidompha Library and Lincoln County Theater's Stories to Screen series "Mysterious Fun." Children (and parents) will be encouraged to act out scenes from the book followed by a question/answer discussion about the book. A limited number of copies of the book are available first come first serve (one per family please) at the the library and at the screenings. The film "The Spiderwick Chronicles" (PG) will be shown at Lincoln Theater on Saturday, November 2nd at 10 AM.