The Sandy River Players of Farmington is offering an opportunity to celebrate the advent of spring, after a long harsh Maine winter, by presenting a play about such a winter and the family that endures it. The play “Icebound” is a Maine play in every aspect, sure to be appreciated by those who want to revisit a moment in the history of this great state and its people.
“Icebound” was written in 1923 by Bangor native Owen Davis who set the play in the nearby small town of Veazie. Surprisingly, few people know about this play which went to Broadway and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama during its six-month run in New York, and then it was ma
de into a silent movie. The three-act play tells the mostly sad story of a rural farming family who are as cold as the winters they manage to endure. In the 1920s and ‘30s, playwright Owen Davis was an
important celebrity at Lakewood Theater in Skowhegan, known at the time as the “Broadway of Maine.”
Performance dates are February 28 and March 1, 2, and 3. Curtain is at 7:00 for the 28th, 1st and 2nd, and 2:00 for the 3rd. The venue is the West Farmington Grange Hall, and prices are $12 general admission and $10 for seniors and students. Tickets will be available at the door, and advanced sales are available at DDG Booksellers of Farmington or online at 207.779.7884.
The cast of 12 is made up of a talented group of locals who bring authenticity to their roles: Richard Morton, Brianna Rush, and Shanee Stepakoff from Farmington; Laura Church, Tim Davis, and Dan Huettner from Vienna; Didi and Jon Rollins from Kingfield; Michaela Carney, a senior at UMF from Richmond; Austin Frederick from Norridgewock; Caitlin Zamboni, a Mt. Blue High senior from Wilton; and Evan Phillips, a New Sharon 8th grader at Mt. Blue Middle School.
For co-directors Robin Lisherness and Karen West, this is the second Maine play they have directed, having previously presented John Cariani’s “Almost, Maine” with SRP. “The plays are similar in that they were both written by Maine authors about Maine people, but that’s where the similarity ends,” says Lisherness. “Cariani’s play is just as funny as it can be, but Davis’s play is a dramatic story with very serious characters.”
“But,” adds West, “Audiences are going to find humor in “Icebound,” too. There are moments when you just have to laugh because you can identify with the language and the actions of these Mainers. Your grandparents may have used those very same words to describe a family dispute!”
SRP is pleased to be once again performing on the stage in the West Farmington Grange Hall, where the traditional box set found in most of Maine’s old Grange halls is a perfect beginning for their vision of a small parlor in a Maine farmhouse built in the 19th century. A crew consisting of Brian Church, Dan Huettner, and Michael Sherrod, in addition to the cast, will create and light the set and provide vintage props and costumes.
With a theme of “Shop Local! Support Maine!” SRP will be recognizing area businesses which are supporters of their community theatre and which, in particular, are standing behind this tribute to rural Maine.