The 15th Maine Playwrights Festival kicks off with an evening featuring dramatic readings of five new plays, with island author Nicole d’Entremont‘s Insurrections among them.
Over the span of one act, Insurrections transports the audience to three separate locales: a classroom in Kabul University, Afghanistan in 1979, a civil rights demonstration in Selma, Alabama in 1965, and a wire enclosure for detainees outside of Baghdad, Iraq in 2003.
Nicole explains the origin of her play and its three-locale structure:
“In each of these three settings, individuals make decisions that are impulsive and that decisively alter their lives.I wrote the play while taking a Maine College of Art (MECA) course taught by Callie Kimball who is a playwright, actor and teacher. She sent out an email to her students regarding the Maine Playwright Festival and I (rather impulsively) entered and was happy to be awarded a runner-up position along with three other playwrights. I’m excited about the opportunity to bring these scenes to life and am very happy to work with Michael Levine as Director and the culturally diverse cast that shows the changing face of Portland.
I initially took Callie’s playwrighting class because I wanted to use more dialogue in my fiction work. It has helped immensely. The book I am currently working on has much more dialogue propelling the plot and I’m learning to get out of my characters’ way and let them go with their own words. I’m less fussy about what they say. Whereas, if I’m writing a descriptive passage, I fiddle around more with syntax and search for the right word. Dialogue is freer. I like the way it moves across the page and I always learn a lot from what characters blurt out.
The short scenes depicted in the play that take place in Kabul and Baghdad were initially stories told to me by students who were in my writing classes–here in Portland, Maine and in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I made a few embellishments on both of those stories but the core truths are there. The stories are so powerful that they have continued over the years to inform my conscience about war. The segment of the play set in Alabama was an experience I had while participating in the Selma to Montgomery civil rights march in 1965.
I felt all three events shared a commonality beyond politics and ethnicity; they spoke to the complexity of human nature, our mixed emotions in situations, and of bedrock beliefs about fairness and the human family.
- Maine Playwright’s Festival
- Saturday, April 30th
- 7:30-9:00 PM
- Mechanics Hall, 519 Congress St., Portland, Maine 04101
- Event is free, with $10 donation suggested
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