Waldo Theatre casts 'Aida'
Waldoboro — Community theater is alive and thriving at the Waldo Theatre, where this summer's production of "Aida" is already in rehearsal and includes a large cast of adults, many of whom form the core of the Waldo’s informal acting company and have been seen previously in a variety of roles.
Over the last four years, the Waldo's board has been on a steady course to present the unusual each summer. Productions have featured mostly adult actors in shows the group refers to as “edgy” and this year is no exception. Directors Melissa Hearth and Sean Fleming have assembled a multi-talented cast from all over the Midcoast to present Elton John and Tim Rice’s "Aida." The youngest member of the cast is graduating from the eighth grade, while another is a school principal.
They answer phones for a living; work at a golf club, a library and the Bank of America; are in construction; attend nursing school; sell antiques; are attending college or headed to college; and have a wide range of interests from the expected karaoke and dance to hiking, diving, rock climbing, fencing and farming. Community theater brings together all sorts of people share a common goal — to perform with and for their community. It takes a lot of hard work, but the rewards are great, both for the actors and their audiences.
Based on the classic opera by Giuseppe Verdi, this modern rock opera tells the story of Aida (Devon Fletcher), captured Princess of Nubia, who falls in love with Radames (Tod Widdecombe), exalted general of Egypt and conqueror of her people. Their love story unfolds as he returns to Egypt triumphant and about to marry the Pharaoh’s (Jared Heath) daughter, Amneris (Stefanie McAllister). Chief Minister Zoser (Todd Martin) plots to have his son take over Egypt with the marriage. Radames has brought many Nubians back from his campaign and makes a gift of Aida to his betrothed, not realizing she is the King of Nubia’s daughter.
Another servant in the palace, Mereb (Bill Coombs) immediately recognizes Aida and along with young slave Nehebka (Maggie Kelsey) spreads the news amongst the captured Nubians that she is in Egypt with them. Together with Aida and the now smitten Radames, they plot to free Aida’s father, Amonastro (Brad Fillion). Mereb is mortally wounded and for their treachery, and the star-crossed lovers are entombed alive. His health failing, Pharoah will hand his throne over to Amneris, who will reign alone.
The Egyptian and Nubian chorus parts will be shared by the ensemble and include Markus Carter, Kate Fletcher, Hilary Harkins, Cayleigh Hearth, Sam Inman, Krystal Johnson, Sophie Sawyer-Johnson, Aspen Jones, Liza Keene, Justice Kennedy, Shane Lavoie, Henry Marsh, Tabitha Ordway and Faith Stevens.
Produced by special arrangement with Music Theatre International, the Waldo Theatre production will be performed July 14 through 21. Tickets will be available soon through the website, thewaldo.org, and by calling the theater at 832-6060.
Courier Publications' A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or firstname.lastname@example.org.