Photo Flash: First Look at Acorn Productions' THE LEGEND OF THE GOLEM
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by BWW News Desk
Acorn Productions, a non-profit theater company based in the Dana Warp Mill in downtown Westbrook, produces the company's third annual holiday production this December when the original play "The Legend of the Golem" performs in the Acorn Studio Theater from December 6th through the 23rd. Get a first look at the cast in the photos below!
Acorn's Producing Director wrote the script, which does not literally dramatize the original tale of the creature made out of clay who was brought to life in Prague in the sixteenth century, but rather places the action in a Jewish shtetl in Poland in the early twentieth century. The action revolves around Reb Nathan,a poor tailor who not only owns a failing business, but also has a daughter who has fallen in love with a non-Jewish man. These crises cause him to question his faith, leading to a series of events involving a mysterious stranger and the creature of lore who strives to help him through his troubleS. Levine not only penned the play, but also directs a cast of six Acorn regulars.
While the story takes place in an environment familiar to audiences from "Fiddler on the Roof," the play explores many universal issues, including how to maintain one's connection to old customs and beliefs in the face of a changing world. Reb Nathan's life centers around centuries-old traditions, but his lack of good fortune has caused him to re-evaluate his life and wonder why he follows rituals that have lost their meaning for him. The arrival of a mysterious stranger during the family's Sedar meal on Passover precipitates a chain of events that allow him to understand aspects of his spiritual life that he did not before. Drawing on familiar holiday archetypes, "The Legend of the Golem" offers an entertaining and thought-provoking message about faith and family for audiences of all ages and religious backgrounds.
Acorn has long fostered new playwrights through classes and the annual Maine Playwrights Festival, but this is the first time Producing Director Michael Levine premieres one of his original full-length plays at the company he founded fifteen years ago. Levine, who is Jewish, wrote the play as a result of his fascination with rituals and the old legend of the creature on whom Frankenstein was based. The production tackles serious issues of morality and "mitzvot," the Jewish term for good deeds, while also incorporating elements of physical comedy as seen in Acorn's annual Phyzgig festival. "We have produced several of my short plays for children," says Levine," and the time seemed right for the challenge of bringing a more susbstantial piece of my writing to the Acorn stage. I am thrilled by the cast and design team we have assembled for this show, and am excited to share the piece with the community."
"The Legend of the Golem" continues Acorn's work presenting theater for children and adults in the company's intimate 40-seat space in Westbrook. With the recent demise of Lucid Stage, Acorn has been fielding more inquiries from local producers about using the space, which continues to see small upgrades with each production. The production showcases the work of many actors who trained at the Acorn Acting Academy, as well as artists who have performed n Acorn shows over the past year. The following six actors appear in the production: Josh Brassard, Brenda Chandler, HAl Cohen, David Handwerker, Kara Haupt, and Tristan Rolfe. The design team includes Set Designer Craig Robinson, a regular member of the Good Theater production team, Costume Designer Stephanie Ross, a member of Acorn's Naked Shakespeare Ensemble, with original sound composed by Jim Alberty, who worked on last season's "The Wandering Beggar" and "The Birthday Party."
Acorn Productions’ mission is to invigorate the community of performing artists in Southern Maine. Acorn seeks to nurture new performance pieces, develop artist collaborations, train new talent, and make the arts accessible to a wide spectrum of the general public. Acorn accomplishes these goals by mounting annual festivals that are open to a variety of artists as well as professional performances by local actors in both traditional and non-traditional venues. Ticket prices for these performances are maintained at an affordable level in order to lower economic barriers for potential audience members. Acorn also offers educational programs, including acting classes and workshops, and acts as an umbrella 501(c)3 organization for grassroots organizations or individual artists seeking to become more active members of the performing arts community.
Performances of "The Legend of the Golem" take place Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30pm, and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors, and they may be purchased on-line at www.acorn-productions.org or by calling Acorn at 854-0065.