ROCKLAND — As part of its upcoming 2023 centennial year celebration, the Strand Theatre announces its New Century Series, a multi-year program that will bring more live theatre, dance and innovative cinema works to the Midcoast – pushing the boundaries of what’s been on offer at the theater before, both in content and presentation format. The new series will explore new works, new artists, and new spaces as the Strand embarks on its next 100 years.

New Century Series Program Manager Katie Melby.

Katie Melby recently joined the Strand team as program manager for the series. Melby has worked professionally as a director, creator and performer, and is co-founder of the Brooklyn arts space Cloud City, a member of BREAD Arts Collective and co-artistic director of the physical theatre company 3 Sticks.

“As the Strand sets its sights on the next 100 years, we’re exploring new performing arts and film programming territory to add even more variety to what the Strand already does while also expanding the energy and vibrancy of the arts scene in Midcoast Maine,” said Executive Director Jessie Davis. “We are thrilled that Katie Melby, an incredibly creative and capable producer — and performing artist in her own right, has signed on to coordinate this exciting new endeavor.”

The series launches Thursday, July 14, at 7 p.m. at Union Hall, 24 Central St., Rockport. New York City’s Designated Movement Company will present Jest, an all-female dance theater performance created by Artistic Director Katie Rose McLaughlin that explores contemporary femininity, isolation, ritual and witchiness. The 50-minute show will be followed by a talk-back with the director. This show will have a limited capacity audience. Tickets are on sale now.

The day prior, Wednesday, July 13, at 7 p.m., McLaughlin will present Line Dance Club, a dance workshop where participants will explore many types of line dancing and then invent new moves. Taking place at the Flanagan Community Center, 61 Limerock St., Rockland, the class is open to all levels of experience. The option to participate via Zoom will also be available. Tickets are on sale now.

Next in the series will be a screening of “Plastic Bag Store: The Film” Thursday, Aug. 11, at 8 p.m. The film is based on a public art installation and immersive film experience by Brooklyn-based artist Robin Frohardt that uses humor, craft, and a critical lens to question our culture of consumption and convenience. The screening location is to be determined.

And on Thursday, Sept. 1, at 7 p.m, the dark musical comedy “Edgar Allan” will be presented at the Lincoln Street Center in Rockland. Presented by Brooklyn-based theatre artists The Coldharts (Nick Ryan and Katie Hartman) the show is adapted from the short story “William Wilson” by Edgar Allan Poe.

Tickets for Jest are $35/General Admission. Tickets for Line Dance Club are Pay-What-You-Can: $0 to $20. For tickets or more information, visit or call 207-594-0070. The Strand Theatre is located at 345 Main St.

The Strand Theatre, built in 1923, has been designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It became a nonprofit in January 2014 and is now operated by Friends of the Strand Theatre.

Designated Movement Company Photo by Maria Baranova