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Rumford student in UMF theater production
FARMINGTON -- University of Maine at Farmington student actors challenge themselves and their audience with UMF’s spring production of Jane Martin’s award-winning play “Keely and Du.” Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m., March 14-16, and at 2 p.m., March 17, in the UMF Alumni Theater.
Among the cast members is student Richard Russell of Rumford.
Winner of the 1993 American Theatre Critics Association Award and finalist for the 1994 Pulitzer Prize in Drama, Martin’s provocative play is the story of two women at opposite ends of the abortion issue. Keely -- pregnant and considering an abortion -- is taken against her will by Du and a right-to-life group. The activists hope to prevent Keely’s abortion by holding her until she has her child.
As the relationship between the two women grows, it’s apparent that in spite of their differences, they share many of the same compelling issues. Set in a stark basement converted into a prison—that could be anywhere—the drama highlights the fact that life’s decisions are seldom black and white.
Directed by Jayne Decker, playwright, director and UMF faculty member, this production marks the 40th year of Roe vs. Wade -- the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide. “Theater holds a mirror to society and asks hard questions of its actors and audience,” said Decker.
“The students and I look for plays that will challenge them as actors. Martin’s drama exposes the strong emotions that surround this divisive issue and uses them as an opportunity to understand what characters like these are going through and how their choices affect the outcome.”
The true identity of writer Jane Martin is a two-decade-old mystery who, to date, has yet to identify herself/himself. Writing under the Jane Martin pen name, she has been referred to as “America’s best known unknown playwright.” In addition to “Keely and Du” she has written a number of full-length plays, one-acts and numerous shorts including, “Mr. Bundy,” “Talking With” and “Vital Signs.”
An award-winning playwright, Decker has directed numerous productions at UMF Alumni Theater. She received her master’s from the University of Maine and teaches courses at UMF including Writing for the Stage and Screen and Social and Political Theatre.
This Theatre UMF production is sponsored by the UMF Department of Sound, Performance and Visual Inquiry.
“Keely and Du” is of an adult nature and not for audiences under high-school age. Tickets for the performance are $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and students. Tickets are available at the time of the performance and can be reserved by calling the Theatre UMF box office at 778-7465.