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When

May 20, 2017
7:30pm

Venue info

Mayo Street Art Center

Mayo Street Art Center, 10 Mayo St., Portland, ME 04101

Price

$20, $15 Seniors, $10 Students with ID

Contact

(207) 619-4885

Kevin O’Leary’s play premiere of “Lascaux”

Pie Man Theatre Company will presents Kevin O’Leary’s in play LASCAUX in May

April 20, 2017 — Portland, ME — Pie Man Theatre Company (PMTC) PMTC presents Lascaux, a world premiere suspense thriller by Portland playwright, actor and educator Kevin O’Leary, from May 11-21, 2017 at Mayo Street Arts in Portland, ME. Lascaux takes as its jumping off point the discovery of the prehistoric cave paintings in the caves of Lascaux, France. It then tacitly weaves a tense and haunting “what if?” tale of discovery and betrayal, of love and lies and the lengths some will go to keep the past buried.

Mid-August, 1983. On the eve of what should be his greatest triumph, the French Minister of Culture, Marcel Ravidat, is called away from Paris by an urgent plea from a psychiatrist in the countryside southeast of the city. At an isolated estate that has been converted into a mental health facility, Dr. Katherine Terrine-Gervaise has been secretly treating a special patient for the past ten years: Simon Coencas, the childhood friend of the culture minister’s, lost and presumed dead on the same day as the Lascaux caves were discovered. Over the course of one tempestuous summer afternoon and evening, Katherine, Marcel and Simon unlock secrets about themselves that will forever alter the course of their lives… if they can survive the beckoning storm.

PLAYWRIGHT: Kevin O’Leary

What is the genesis of this play Lascaux?

“There’s always something underneath: the ground, the word, the story. I’m not absolutely certain, but I think Lascaux came to me from below. Sometimes, if I just look down at my feet, I realize where I am, and where I was when Lascaux came up and grabbed me was — I was looking down. I’ve always been fascinated by the caves of Lascaux, France. To be honest, I don’t know why. It’s partly because the art is haunting and beautiful; it’s partly because my son is an artist and I am drawn to his obsession, and it’s partly because I am fascinated by the fact that for centuries these caves and these cave paintings were hidden from view, and that humans (and dogs!) were walking over them without ever knowing it. The idea that we can literally be walking over the treasures of antiquity is remarkable.
After I completed the first draft, I realized that I had written my first suspense thriller. It turns out that I wrote Lascaux in this style without ever knowing I was walking over it.”

DIRECTOR: Stephanie Ross

How did this production of Lascaux come to be?

“I had previously attended a developmental reading of Lascaux and was intrigued by the suspenseful story, with all it’s twists and turns, that used an actual historical event as the basis for its characters and action. When Kevin approached us with Lascaux it was quickly apparent, in hearing him speak of it, how deeply this story lived in him. He was so intense. He’s worked on Lascaux for quite a long time; it was aching to come into the light. With its themes of never giving up on oneself; that every moment is an opportunity for redemption, if we so choose; that forgiveness is possible, if we can only have compassion for ourselves… Well, it was really a no-brainer for us to fully produce Lascaux.”

Stephanie adds, “I feel it’s important to note that, while Lascaux is based on the actual discovery of the prehistoric cave paintings in France in September of 1940, and two of the characters in the play are based on two of the boys who made the discovery, the actions and characterizations depicted in the play are completely fictitious. The Lascaux discovery was a point of reference, an inspiration from which Kevin BASE-jumped into a pool of limitless possibilities and imaginings.”

Why is this so important?

“The fictional story that Kevin weaved is full of conjurings: mystery, deception, loss of great proportions and love, with characters that are dramatically flawed. Their circumstances are precarious, to say the least, so we wouldn’t want people to think something untrue about the real people and their amazing discovery. There are many high-stakes secrets in the story that prove dangerous to each of these characters and… well, if I continue in this vein , I would spoil the mystery. So I’m not going to do that!”

Stephanie concludes by speaking about the nature of the partnership between PMTC and Kevin O’Leary on this production.

“Working on Lascaux with Kevin has been everything we set out to do when we founded Pie Man in 2015. It has been a collaborative process between Pie Man and Kevin, which is hugely important for a story such as this, one that touches on love, regret, shame and terror. Pie Man’s tagline is ‘Serve the story’, and it’s one we take to heart. So to be able to further develop this play, with the cooperation and insight of the playwright, has been a wonderful opportunity.”

Lascaux, written by Kevin O’Leary, is directed by Stephanie Ross. Featuring Josh Brassard, Mary Fraser, and JP Guimont (*). May 11-21, 2017, with a preview Wednesday May 10, 2017 (no show May 15-17). Curtain times: Wednesday May 10 and Thursdays through Saturdays at 7;30pm; Sundays at 5:00pm. Tickets:$20 general admission; $15 seniors; $10 students with valid ID (preview is “Pay-what-you-can”; $10 suggested). At Mayo St. Arts, 10 Mayo Street, Portland ME.
(*) Member of Actor’s Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States, appearing under a Special Appearance Contract.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT:
Kevin O’Leary (playwright)( AEA) is a graduate of New York University’s School of the Arts and The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, class of 1982. He was one of the last actors to be invited by his mentor, Lee Strasberg, into Lee’s master acting class just before the
legendary theater teacher passed away in February of 1982. Kevin founded Lanyard Theatre Company in Bath, Maine in the fall of 2005, and for four consecutive seasons boasted of being the only professional Equity theatre company in Maine to only produce
original, world premiere plays before closing its doors in 2009. His play The Fair was the second highest box office grossing play of the 2015 PortFringe Festival, and Lascaux (having its world premiere tonight with Pie Man) was part of Mad Horse Theatre Company’s “By Local” series in November of 2015. His play, The Roles of a Lifetime, a story of Condell and Heminge, had its world premiere this past November at the Portland Ballet Studio Theater. As producer, Kevin presented King Lear last May in
Portland for a nearly sold-out run—starring Michael Howard. As an actor, Kevin performed for Freeport Shakespeare Festival for two consecutive summer seasons, in 2010 with The Tempest and in 2011 with Twelfth Night. He played Horatio in Fenix
Theatre Company’s production of Hamlet in 2015 and Antonio in Fenix’s Much Ado About Nothing last summer. This coming July, Kevin will play Kulygin in Fenix’s 10th anniversary production when it presents Anton Chekov’s The Three Sisters directed by
Tess Van Horn. Mr. O’Leary expresses his heartfelt gratitude to Pie Man’s co-founders Stephanie Ross and Josh Brassard for believing in him and his work enough to add Lascaux to its ongoing mission statement of, “serving the story.” Blessings to you both.
The playwright wishes to thank Robert Fuhro for lending his wine expertise to the writing of Lascaux and Dr. Iris Ascher for her assistance with all clinical and psychiatric research, knowledge, and terminology referenced throughout the play. Thank you, both.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR:
Stephanie Ross (AEA, SAG-AFTRA) has her Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York University’s Tisch School of The Arts. She trained as an actor with David Mamet, William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman at the Atlantic Theatre Company and acts professionally still — she was recently seen onstage in PSC’s production of A Christmas Carol in December 2016. As a director, she has worked for Falmouth Footlights, The Crowbait Club, PortFringe Theatre Festival, Freeport Players, Cauldryn & Labrys, the Maine Playwrights Festival and the Samuel French Short Play Festival in NYC. She has taught adult and children’s acting classes for Acorn Productions and directed many of their children’s theatre offerings between 2005 and 2014. Stephanie was the Drama Director in the Massabesic School from System from 2002 until 2014. In 2015 she directed the musical Pippin at South Portland High School. She is currently an instructor for Portland Stage Company’s Play Me A Story program and an Adjunct professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of New England. Along with her partner, Josh Brassard, she founded Pie Man Theatre Company in order to bring great plays to life serving the intentions of the playwright.

ABOUT PIE MAN THEATRE COMPANY:
Founded in 2015 by co-artistic directors Josh Brassard and Steph Ross, Pie Man Theatre Company (PMTC) is a professional theatre organization and 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation (based in South Portland, Maine) that is focused on new, emerging and underrepresented works (especially from Maine and New England playwrights) and presenting the classics for today’s audiences. PMTC’s mission is to “serve the story”: the (not-at-all) radical notion that the story being told by a play is its most important element, and that everything we do as theatre professionals must serve to bring the story to the audience in its most essential form. Story, after all, is how we communicate across generations and ages. Story is what makes us human. Visit us at http://www.piemantheatre.org.