Richmond-based organization will perform “To Bee or Not To Bee”

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Laura Josephs and Jon Mirin in “To Be or Not to Be a Bee”. Photo of Isaac Harrell

Friends of Merrymeeting Bay’s eighth and final presentation of its 25th annual winter speaker series, “To Bee or Not To Bee,” is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11, via Zoom.

It will feature the award-winning Piti theater troupe, based in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, and Les Ponts-de-Martel, Switzerland, according to a press release from the Richmond-based conservation organization.

Not a week goes by without a score of alarming emails about the loss of pollinating insects due to various causes, including pesticides, habitat loss, climate change and radio frequency radiation due to wireless proliferation. Piti shines a spotlight on this serious problem with the story of farmer John, who gradually replaced his various crops with corn only to meet a growing corporate demand for corn by-products. In doing so he lost his bees, there is only porridge to eat and now the locals (the public) have arrived to protest chanting “There is no good food, we are in a bad mood “.

To Bee tells the comic, tragic and ultimately hopeful story of James – with puppets, clowns, dancing, live music and great audience participation. Piti created the show to raise awareness of the plight of bees and gives children and adults tools to help bees thrive in their communities.

The plays of Jonathan Mirin (artistic director, playwright, performer, teacher) have been performed in New York, regionally and internationally. His performance in “Riding the Wave.com” was nominated in 2004 and 2008 by New England Independent Critics for Best Solo Performance, “Small Company”. In 2014, he received an award from Club Passim’s Iguana Fund for songs he wrote with Piti Theater Musician-in-Residence Carrie Ferguson. He also received the Aurand Harris Fellowship from the Children’s Theater Foundation of America and was a two-time finalist for the Actor’s Theater of Louisville Heidemann Award.

The Friends hold their Winter Speaker Series from October through May on the second Wednesday of every month. Due to the continued high rates of COVID infections, the band is not scheduling its usual series of summer outings, but may offer pop-up events if pandemic conditions improve significantly.

Speaker series presentations are free and open to the public. Visit fomb.org to view speaker biographies, full event schedules, video recordings of past presentations, become a member, and learn more about how to help protect Merrymeeting Bay and the Gulf of Maine.

Presentations from the FOMB Winter Speaker Series can be accessed via a hyperlink at the top of the FOMB web page, fomb.org.

For more information, contact the organization at 207-666-3372 or [email protected].

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