ISLE Theater Company Announces Original Play at Horsepower Farm | Castine Patriot


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Castine PatriotJune 30, 2022 and Island Ad BenefitsJune 30, 2022 and The weekly packageJune 30, 2022

ISLAND Theater Company announces original play at Horsepower Farm

Horsepower Farm’s Suffolk Punch draft horses ‘Harry and Jake’ prepare a field for planting this summer.

Photo courtesy of Meghan Birdsall

ISLAND Theater Company announces the world premiere of Anna Fitzgerald’s Playing Mercury, a medieval comedy inspired by William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, with outdoor performances at Horsepower Farm, Penobscot, August 4-14 and a digital release at request in mid-September, according to a press release. Tickets will go on sale for both offerings beginning June 15 at

After her father’s failed military campaign in France upends their English stronghold, Rosalind abandons her embroidery to lace up her bodice and restore order to the duchy. In a gripping quest to find her father, she enlists the help of her distraught cousin Celia and the garrison’s favorite jester, Touchstone, as they venture beyond the castle boundaries. What could go wrong?

While Shakespeare’s plays are revered for their ability to illuminate the human condition, many people find dated language inaccessible. Fitzgerald’s remedy is to respect the original while modernizing the language. ISLANDThe story of will encourage audience members to reconsider their assumptions while laughing along the way.

Directed by Marvin Merritt IVa cast of professional performers from Maine and across the United States will transport audiences to the Middle Ages in this fully staged outdoor production in and around the rolling fields and spruce forests of Horsepower Farm in Penobscot.

Covering nearly 400 acres, Horsepower Farm is a diverse organic farm founded by Paul and Mollie Birdsall in 1972. Appropriately named for its horse farm, the farm offers a range of organic vegetables and fruits, dried beans and free-range eggs. Blue Hill Heritage Trust, the community land trust of which Paul Birdsall was a founding member, will help welcome visitors to the retained property to support production.

Now run by the next two generations of the farm, Andy and Donna, and their son Drew and his wife Meghan, the Birdsalls are delighted to welcome visitors in such a new way. “We love being active in our community and look forward to introducing new friends and neighbors to our farm,” said Donna. “Let’s hope our animals feel the same!”

Founded by Harvard University graduate Marvin Merritt IV and Anna Fitzgerald, ISLAND Theater Company connects communities through storytelling in Downeast Maine. Playing Mercury is funded in part by grants from the Maine Community Foundation and the Onion Foundation. Production contributions are tax deductible through tax sponsorship with Blue Hill Community Development.


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