MOUNT DESERT — For the first time in its 48-year history, Acadia Repertory Theatre is presenting a show in Somesville in the winter months.
“Fully Committed” showcases the versatility and energy of Mount Desert Island native Mary Paola, as she portrays 32 distinctive characters. Her main character, Sam, is juggling the phone line at a high-end NYC restaurant, fielding reservations, requests and outrageous demands at the height of the holiday season. Acadia Rep veteran David Blais is directing the play — a fast-paced mix of comedy and drama.
“With funding from a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant and from the Maine Community Foundation, we’ve been given an opportunity to try something completely new for the benefit of the Island community,” explains C Andrew Mayer, the theater’s producing director. “The SVOG grant enabled Acadia Rep to install heat pumps backstage and in our downstairs dressing room, opening the space for year-round use. This especially makes it possible for people who don’t have time in the summer to come enjoy a show at the Rep.”
What’s more, by highlighting a frantic day in the life of a restaurant worker, “Fully Committed” may resonate with local audience members who have experience in the service industry.
Since 1973, Acadia Repertory Theatre has made its home in Somesville’s Masonic Hall, located at 1154 Main St. Mayer notes that it is part of the Masons’ mission to serve as a community gathering place. As such, Acadia Rep is pleased to expand on its use of the building.
“The pandemic pause gave us time to think about what we might do differently,” Mayer says. “During those months, generous donations from the Maine Community Foundation, the Magnolia Foundation and more than 100 individual supporters inspired us to keep going and innovate new ways forward.”
This year marks Mary Paola’s fifth season at the Acadia Rep. She’s a 2021 graduate of Purchase College Conservatory of Theatre Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. “Fully Committed” showcases her extraordinary range, familiar to Rep audiences as well as those who’ve attended MDI High School Drama performances.
Director David Blais has been part of the ensemble at the Acadia Rep for the last 20 years — and in 2012, he took on the lead role in the Rep’s first run of this play.
“Fully Committed” by Becky Mode will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Dec. 9-19. Admission then will be pay-what-you-can. Performances at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays are reserved seating at a cost of $26 for adults and $24 for seniors, students and military. Reserved tickets are available online at www.acadiarep.com. “Fully Committed” includes language and content that may not be suitable for children.
To accommodate social distancing, seating will include blocked-off rows and attendees will be seated in pods. Masks must be worn by audience members throughout the show. Before entering the theater, audience members will need to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19, or proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event, along with matching photo ID. Proof of vaccination or negative test result can be either a physical vaccine card or official record, or a photo of it.
“After the year we had in 2020,” says Mayer, “I’m never taking live theater for granted again! And although we still have to take these precautions, we should all feel blessed to be here at all. I know I do!”
For more info, call 244-7260 or visit acadiarep.com.