Election Night Specials, Oct. 21 and 28

Oct 13, 2016

Rockport — Over the next two weeks, Everyman Repertory Theatre is presenting two staged readings of political dramas from both sides of the political spectrum. The readings will take place Fridays at 7 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House, 6 Central St.

First up, on Oct. 21, is “Chatting with the Tea Party” by Rich Orloff, a 2016 drama that tells the story of one New York liberal playwright’s journey around America to speak to, learn about, understand and find common ground with Tea Party leaders across the country. It is both humorous and controversial, and paints a sympathetic picture of the party.

The second staged reading, Oct. 28, is “The Best Man” by Gore Vidal, which tells the story of the 1960 Democratic National Convention, the year of Kennedy’s nomination … but could have been written about the 2016 Democratic National Convention or, frankly, the 2016 Republican Convention — it does not paint a pretty picture of party politics.

Tickets are $10 for each reading or $15 for both readings. They are available at everymanrep.org/box-office or by calling 236-0173. Tickets also are on sale at Rock City Café in Rockland, Zoot Coffee in Camden and Left Bank Books in Belfast.

Everyman Artistic Director Paul Hodgson has invited many of the senior party leaders in the state, as well as the Knox County Democrats and the Knox County Republicans, to attend. He said he would like to get some discussion going on the issues raised in both plays, either officially through a Q&A or unofficially after the readings.

“Approaching this from a bipartisan point of view, we are trying to inject some civility into political debate, which seems to be sadly lacking both at the state and national levels,” he said. “So, join us and see if we can find some common ground. I’m betting we can.”

The readings have been funded by grants from the Maine Humanities Council, including its inaugural 13th Amendment grant, and the Maine Arts Commission. Local sponsors are Bangor Savings Bank, Camden Real Estate, Cold Mountain Builders, the Country Inn, Fireside and Quarry Hill.

Everyman Repertory Theatre, founded in 2008, is a registered 501(c)3, not-for-profit theater company committed to bringing live, professional theater to the people of Midcoast Maine.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

A spirited Q&A follows "Chatting with the Tea Party." From left on stage are Paul Hodgson, John Burstein, Jen Hodgson, Andrea Itkin and David Troup. (Photo by: Dagney C. Ernest)
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