Everyman tells multimedia ‘Soldier’s Tale’

Jun 13, 2014
Photo by: David Troup Pictured rehearsing a scene from “A Soldier’s Tale” are Everyman Theatre members Paul Hodgson, seated, as the Narrator; Scott Anthony Smith, foreground, as the Soldier; and Jen Hodgson as the Devil.

Rockport — Everyman Repertory Theatre, in partnership with Maine Pro Musica, will open a two-weekend run of “A Soldier’s Tale” by Igor Stravinsky and C.F. Ramuz Saturday, June 21. Performances of the hour-long play with music and dance, featuring a septet, three actors and five dancers, will take place at Pascal Hall, 86 Pascal Ave., with 7:30 p.m. performances Saturday, June 21, and Friday, June 27; 3 p.m. matinees Sundays, June 22 and 29.

Billed as a celebration of music, dance and theater, Everyman Rep’s production of the Stravinsky classic tells the simple tale of a soldier returning from the war who encounters the Devil on his way — and his world is suddenly turned upside down. Although it is traditionally performed with a Narrator reading the script, actors performing the roles of the Soldier and the Devil and only one dancer, Everyman’s multi-leveled production is a complete collaboration between a dance ensemble of five and the actors performing, not reading, the roles.

The story itself is pertinent on many different levels” said David Troup, the production’s director.

“How we perceive the Devil, how that ‘Devil’ changes the path we meant to take, how we try to regain control of our own destinies — these are different for us all,” he said.

The very simple, lovely tale is told musically through Maine Pro Musica’s performance, conducted by Janna Hymes; through modern dance, as choreographed by Hanna DeHoff; and through the simple give and take of a talented cast featuring Jen Hodgson, Paul Hodgson and Scott Anthony Smith. Dancing are Shana Bloomstein, Taylor Evans, Caitlin Schick, Katie Thompson and Kristi Williamson.

“In addition, we are using a three-tiered stage, to emphasize these many levels. The trick will be to keep the simplicity of the story while opening up the interpretation to these many media,” said Troup.

The soldier’s fiddle is key to the story, changing hands throughout the tale.

“Consequently, the violinist plays throughout the piece,” said Hymes, “and we are excited to have Dean Stein playing for us.” Stein is on the faculty at Bates and Bowdoin; former lead violinist for the DaPonte String Quartet, stein is lead violinist for the Portland String Quartet.

The opening night performance June 21 will be preceded by a pre-show party, open to all ticketholders, sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank. All pre-purchased or reserved tickets for each performance are $20 for adults and $10 for students; non-reserved tickets at the door will carry a $5 surcharge. For more information, or to reserve a ticket, visit everymanrep.org or call 207-236-0173.

Tickets also are available at the Owl & Turtle bookstore and HAV II in Camden; Reading Corner in Rockland; and Bella Books in Belfast. This production is made possible through a grant provided by the Maine Community Foundation.

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

Everyman Repertory Theatre’s production features a musical collaboration with Maine Pro Musica, led by Janna Hymes, and original choreography by Hanna DeHoff, performed by local dancers. (Photo by: David Troup)
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