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Public Theatre announces season schedule

ae.PubTheat.Season.1Judith

Tony Award-winning actress Judith Ivey will direct the snappy new comedy “The Ladies Foursome,” playing January 22 through 31. 

After being named “Best Theatre in Maine” for the third year in a row this summer by Down East Magazine’s annual readers’ poll, The Public Theatre will launch its 25th season this month with a heart-pounding new adaptation of the classic thriller “Wait Until Dark.” Running October 16 through 25, the play features a blind but capable woman who finds herself in mortal danger when a group of con-men enter her apartment. Can she outmaneuver her tormentors by turning her disability to her advantage?

For those who remember the film version starring Audrey Hepburn and Alan Arkin, this adaption will include some unexpected twists to keep you in suspense. The Public Theatre’s policy requires that playgoers pay for their entire seat – even though they’ll only be using the edge.

In November, The Public Theatre will present the comedy hit “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus – Live!” running November 6 through 8. Direct from a successful Off-Broadway run, this hilarious one-man show, based on the New York Times #1 best-selling book by John Gray, explores the sometimes confounding dynamics between men and women, from dating to mating to marriage. Prepare for knowing glances and elbow nudges on this great date night.

The holiday season will herald the return of The Public Theatre’s original adaptation of “A Christmas Carol,” playing December 11 through 13. Created by, for and at The Public Theatre, this version has not only become a Lewiston-Auburn tradition, but has been published and performed by theatres around the world. Featuring six actors and a fiddler, the play brings Dickens’ language and characters to vivid life on the stage in a whole new way. This year’s performances will feature original cast member Michael O’Brien in the role of Scrooge. With family-friendly times and The Public Theatre’s youth-priced ticket of only $5 for those ages 18 and younger, treat the whole family to a great gift you can all enjoy together.

Chase away those winter blues with snappy new comedy “The Ladies Foursome,” playing January 22 through 31. The East Coast premiere of this hole-in-one production will be directed by two-time Tony Award-winning actress Judith Ivey, who many will remember as a regular on the hit TV shows “Will and Grace” and “Designing Women.” It’s “Sex and the City” on the golf course when four smart, sassy women talk about love, sex, work and children while celebrating the bonds of friendship that link them together.

Our growing desire for spring will be matched by the growing desire for change felt by the characters in the New England premier of “What Rhymes with America,” from March 11 through 20. A recent Off-Broadway hit, this touching and humorous play centers around a recently divorced dad, his estranged teenage daughter, a struggling actress and an endearing middle-aged virgin, all of whom long to overcome their fears to move forward with their lives.

The warmth of spring comes to the stage in the delightful family comedy “Crossing Delancey,” playing May 6 through 15. Izzy is a beautiful, intelligent, single young woman whose doting 80-year old grandmother “Bubbie” is determined to see her married before she dies. But is Sam, the neighborhood pickle man, the kind of guy Izzy really has in mind? Adapted into a popular movie starring Amy Irving, Crossing Delancey will touch the heart of any grandparent or grandchild.

The Public Theatre will end its 2015-16 season with a special production for children, presented by The Crabgrass Puppet Theatre, called “African Adventure Tales” on May 22 at 2 p.m. Special student matinee performances for school groups and homeschoolers in grades pre-K through 4 will be scheduled throughout the week. The Public Theatre’s youth price of only $5 to any show makes it easy to introduce kids and teens to the magical world of theatre. Reservations for student matinees must be made in advance.

New this year, The Public Theatre will introduce “Wine-Down” Thursdays, free pre-show wine-tastings starting at 6:30 p.m. before all Thursday performances. Wine-Down will also be offered before the performance of “Mars/Venus” on Friday, November 6.

Continuing this year for its second season will be The Public Theatre’s “Play Pal” program. Play Pal brings solo theatre-goers together when they attend any 3 p.m. Saturday matinee performance. Play Pal members are seated together and identified to each other, making it easy to make new friends at The Public Theatre. They also receive a free concession item to encourage them to meet and mingle during the intermission. Membership in Play Pal is free for any solo-theatre-goer and members can attend as few or as many plays in the season as they like.

Twenty-five years ago, The Public Theatre was founded with the mission to bring high quality professional theater to the people of Maine at an affordable price. With a top ticket price of only $20 and another exciting season of plays scheduled to be performed by the finest professional actors from N.Y. to L.A., The Public Theatre remains committed to keeping Broadway-quality theatre accessible for everyone.

Season subscriptions are currently on sale. Individual tickets, gift certificates, morning student matinees and group rates for parties of 10 or more are available for all productions. The Public Theatre is located at 31 Maple Street in downtown Lewiston. For more information, including show times, see www.thepublictheatre.org or call 782-3200.

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