The Camden Hills Drama Department will present “The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling” Saturday, Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. and Wednesday, March 3 at 7 p.m. in the Strom Auditorium of Camden Hills Regional High School, Route 90. The production is a one-act adaptation of the classic Henry Fielding novel, condensing his 600-page epic into 40 minutes of lively theater.

Our hero (Andy Schlebecker) is a foundling discovered on the property of a very kind and wealthy landowner, Squire Allworthy (Kyle Laurita-Bonometti), in Somerset in England’s West Country. Tom grows into a vigorous and lusty, yet honest and kind-hearted, youth. He develops affection for his neighbor’s daughter, Sophia Western (Mackenzie Gassett). However, Tom’s status as a foundling causes Sophia’s father (Sean Bardon) and Allworthy to oppose their love. As related by narrator Partridge (Alistair Phaup), Tom and Sophia’s love triumphs in spite of their fathers’ misgivings and the love story has a happy ending after all.

The technical aspects of production involve a team of more than 25 students, with set design by Noelle Surprise and Maddy Miller, lighting design by Molly White, original music by Sarah Palermo, sound design by Andrew Eugley, costume design by Anna Grigo and hair and makeup under the direction of Anna Mason. The production received a boost from Youth Arts, who made it possible for Terri Ralston and Kathleen Brown to present a semester-long residency for Camden Hills students interested in costume, hair and makeup design.

Admission to the preview performances is $5. “Tom Jones” is the school’s CHRHS entry in the 2010 Maine Drama Festival and will be performed in competition at the Midcoast Regional Friday and Saturday, March 5 and 6 at Rockland District High School. Camden Hills is tentatively scheduled for the Saturday evening session beginning at 6 p.m. Camden Hills will host the festival’s Class A State Finals March 19 and 20. All festival performances are open to the public; admission will be $7 for adults and $4 for students.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.