April 9, 2004
In just over a week the University of Maine at Fort Kent will host its anniversary production "UMFK: 125 - The Musical". The three evenings of entertainment will be presented on April 22, 23 and 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Fox Auditorium on the UMFK campus. A special dinner theatre will kick off the evening at 5:30 p.m. on opening night April 22, 2004.
Gathered in the back of Fox Auditorium recently during a rehearsal break were cast members Keren Dumond, Jason Fitzherbert, Chad Marquis and John Blanchette, a member of the musical ensemble. The cast is amazed by the work created by professors Joe Zubrick, Charles Closser and Scott Brickman.
"I'm really having fun with my character. I'm really amazed at rehearsals. It's coming better than I expected," comments Dumond, who plays Acadianna Bengalis the spirit of UMFK.
The synopsis for "UMFK: 125 The Musical" finds lead character Donny Deadhead played by Fitzherbert as a freshman attending UMFK who finds himself, after a week in school, bored with the town and finds little excitement on campus. Bengalis then shows Deadhead a subplot filled with historical legacies of nine UMFK presidents in a musical comedy.
"It's as if the character was written with me in mind," said Fitzherbert, a secondary education major. Fitzherbert, a freshman at UMFK, is originally from Fort Kent.
Marquis, a sophomore business major from Fort Kent, plays Major Dickey in the musical.
"This has definitely been a great experience, it gets better every night in rehearsal as it continues to be a work in progress," commented Marquis.
Students and community members actively involved in the production stated that it was an educational experience unmatched by any theatre show they have participated in.
"The first thing that was brought to my attention was that this was going to be a group effort. We have been making changes nightly," adds Blanchette, who plays baritone for the anniversary production band.
Much of what is practiced on stage, through script, continues to be altered allowing maximum opportunity to improvise. Rehearsals allow for creative input making this a group process as the cast and crew prepare for the three night event.
Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students/seniors and are available at any Key Bank branch in Northern Maine or through the UMFK university relations office. Tickets for the dinner theatre are $20 and can only be purchased in the university relations office. UMFK students are admitted free.
For more information call the University Relations office at 834-7557.