The 25th season of the Portland Stage Company in Maine will include the world premiere of Manifest, winner of the Clauder Competition, a New England playwriting contest.
In the meantime, PSC kicks off its 1998-99 season Oct. 2 with Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by Sari Ketter, through Oct. 18. Previews began Sept. 29.
Connecticut writer Brian Silberman's Holocaust-oriented Manifest, to be unveiled Feb. 16-Mar. 7, 1999, is not easily described or defined, PSC artistic director Anita Stewart told Playbill On-Line.
"Brian's take on it is that he wanted to look at the people who were fighting what was happening, inside the camps," said Stewart. "It jumps time and place, there are scenes in the camps and dream scenes; a Joseph Mengele character who acts as a kind of emcee; a group of modern-day actors..."
The play will have new music, said Stewart, heightening its "Brechtian" quality. Christopher Grabowski will direct. The Clauder Competition is a biannual contest in which competition organizers choose a host New England theatre and offer the best scripts and a stipend to the troupe, toward a production of the script of that company's choosing.
Also in the PSC season is writer-director Bartlett Sher's work-in progress adaptation (with music) of Washington (Rip Van Winkle) Irving's works, called The Tales of Washington Irving, Mar. 16-April 4.
The PSC 1998-99 lineup:
The Importance of Being Earnest (through Oct. 18)
Having Our Say by Emily Mann (Oct. 27-Nov. 22)
A Christmas Carol (Dec. 1-24)
Nora by Ingmar Bergman, based on Ibsen (Jan. 12-31, 1999)
The Tales of Washington Irving adapted and directed by Bartlett Sher (March 16-April 4)
Three Tall Women by Edward Albee. (Apr. 20-May 9)
Portland Stage Company is at the Portland Performing Arts Center, 25A Forest Ave. For information call (207) 774-0465.
-- By Kenneth Jones