Rolling Stock Company will present its summer comedy “Love and Money” Thursday, July 15 at 5:30 p.m. in Harbor Park; and Friday, July 16 at 5:30 p.m. outside Farmer’s Fare, Cross Street at Route 90.

The Rolling Stock Company specializes in a form of comic theater called Commedia dell Arte, which first came into being in Italy in late medieval times and lasted in various forms well into the early 20th century. It was “theater for everybody,” not the elegant poetic theater the aristocrats and nobles got to see. In fact, mostly it was produced on wagons during market days, where the actors had to be fast and funny or the audience would wander off.

Commedia has a number of unusual features. First of all, all the dialogue is improvised on the spot. Also, despite their traditional Renaissance costumes, actors are quite likely to make comic local references. Secondly, some of the traditional characters are masked. The masks induce the actors to depend more on physical expression than facial expression.

The Rolling Stock Company, with its distinctive traveling stage, was founded in 2009. The initial impetus was provided by local playwright and actor Jon Potter, who had traveled with a similar troupe in Vermont many years ago. The talented core of the company includes well-known local actors such as Marie Merrifield and Sarah Trapani.

“Love and Money” is a comedy for all ages and runs about an hour. Attendees should feel free to bring along the children, as well as a picnic and a lawn chair or two. The performances are free, but donations for the Rolling Stock Theatre will be gratefully accepted.

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