Melinda Rice

The play’s the thing… New community theater takes a bow



Melinda Rice

Alicia Hynes and Daniel Mahler have started a new community theater group, the Harborside Shakespeare Company, on Mount Desert Island.

Here’s hoping that Alicia Hynes and Daniel Mahler’s “vaulting ambition” works out better for them than Macbeth’s did for him in Shakespeare’s play.

They’ve launched a new community theater, the Harborside Shakespeare Company, on Mount Desert Island and have big plans.

They’ll start with monthly Shakespeare Open Mic sessions at the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, and stage a performance of “Romeo and Juliet” in August. They will offer acting and production workshops in the community as well. Eventually, the duo plans to expand to a year-round schedule with multiple productions and offer workshops in the schools on MDI and elsewhere in Hancock County.

And though the company is named for William Shakespeare and will draw heavily from his plays, the Harborside Shakespeare Company also will feature the works of Greek playwrights, Goethe, even Oscar Wilde.

“Anything over 100 years old,” says Ms. Hynes, though she says they “want to put contemporary twists on the plays … so people can enjoy them in new ways.”

The duo is committed to the long haul. They are pursuing non-profit status for the company, and they have adopted “accessibility” as their byword. They want people from a variety of backgrounds to participate on stage and behind the scenes. No experience? No worries.

“We love the idea of making classical theater accessible in Maine,” said Mr. Mahler.

The first Shakespeare Open Mic night there, on May 12, drew about two dozen people. The open mic sessions will be a monthly occurrence. Auditions for “Romeo and Juliet” are set for this Saturday, Sunday and Monday, May 19, 20 and 21, at the Pleasant Street Pilates Studio in Bar Harbor. To set up a time to audition, call 939-6929 or e-mail [email protected] Information also is available at the Jesup library.

For more arts & entertainment news, pick up a copy of the Mount Desert Islander.

Melinda Rice

Melinda Rice has been a journalist since her teens when she worked on her high school newspaper. She’s worked as a reporter and copy editor at newspapers and magazines, written a travel book and four middle-grade novels and become a Registered Maine Guide.