Contemporary comedy explores the intersection of science and faith
End Days, March 12-29
Bangor, ME – Next up at Penobscot Theatre Company is a production designed to inspire laughter and serious thought in equal measure. End Days, by acclaimed playwright Deborah Zoe Laufer, plays March 12-29 at the historic Bangor Opera House. Through the story of 16-year-old Rachel Stein, Laufer weaves family and faith into a hilarious tapestry and asks, what would Stephen Hawking do?
“I didn’t realize how my own beliefs had evolved,” said Director Bari Newport, “until I began work on this absurdly delightful play. Bringing End Days to life has brought me such joy and clarity, owing to the fresh, youthful lens through which the story is told. I hope our audience leaves more deeply connected and more hopeful.”
This production of End Days will be the first in Maine. Since its first production in 2008, the play has had more than 50 productions worldwide.
Megan Ward, a senior at Bangor High School, will play angst-ridden Rachel, joined by Charlie Hanscom, a senior at John Bapst Memorial High School, as the irrepressible boy next door; A.J. Mooney and Doug Meswarb as Rachel’s overwrought parents; and Zachary Robbins as Jesus Christ and Stephen Hawking. The design team includes Dan Bilodeau (scenic); Jonathan Spencer (lighting); Kevin Koski (costumes); Brandi Rita (sound); and Meredith Perry (props). The production also features music by Jacob Augustine.
“The theatre is producing End Days in partnership with the inaugural Maine Science Festival,” said Executive Director Mary Budd, “and we’re eager to engage festivalgoers and our general audience in a robust discussion of Laufer’s themes.” Special panel discussions are planned involving scholars, faith leaders, medical professionals, and other experts, and each is free and open to the public:
Ready, Set Think: Thursday, March 12, 5:30-6:30 pm. Designed to provide context and provoke thought, this discussion will take place on stage before the first preview performance.
Talk Back: Sunday, March 15, 5:30-6:30 pm. Post-show talk-backs on the first Sunday of the run are a regular feature of Penobscot Theatre Company productions, offering audience members the opportunity to hear from the cast and creative team and to ask questions.
Afterthoughts: Sunday, March 22, 5:30-6:30 pm. This discussion, among the final offerings of the Maine Science Festival, will take place on stage following the Sunday matinee. Unlike the first panel, conversation will likely go beyond the broad themes of the play to address the specific questions raised and explore audience reactions.
End Days and related programming are produced in partnership with Farrell, Rosenblatt & Russell, The First, and Dorsey Furniture, with funding from the City of Bangor, University of Maine Humanities Center, and Acadia Hospital. The theatre gratefully acknowledges the generous support provided throughout the season by the following sponsors: The Bangor Daily News, Blueberry Broadcasting, Canyon Networks, The Charles Inn, Darling’s, The Maine Arts Commission, The Maine Edge, Downtown with Rich Kimball, ZONE Radio, and WLBZ Channel 2.
To purchase tickets or for more details, call the Box Office at (207) 942-3333 or go online at www.penobscottheatre.org