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UMFK to stage "Bloody Bess" November 21-22

October 31, 2003

NR03167

The University of Maine at Fort Kent theatre is preparing its initial offering of the 2003-2004 season. "Bloody Bess" opens on Friday, November 21 with an additional performance on Saturday, November 22. Both performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the Fox Auditorium.

Joe Zubrick, associate professor of theater and oral communications, who came to UMFK in September, is directing the play.

The play, originally conceived and performed by the Organic Theater Company in Chicago, is loosely based on the pirate films of Errol Flynn (The Sea Hawks, Capitan Blood) and several historical pirates like Annie Bailey, Calico Jack Rackham and others.

The play features one of Zubrick's specialties, stage combat. "Stage combat, or 'combat mime', as it is sometimes known, is a theatrical technique for demonstrating action scenes like sword or hand-to-hand fighting as realistically, and safely, as possible," explains Zubrick. "We work with replica weapons and conventional fighting techniques, adapting them for the stage."

Zubrick trained with the American Society of Fight Directors (ASFD) in Detroit before coming to Maine.

The story of "Bloody Bess" centers on Elizabeth Presberty (Danielle Cyr), daughter of the governor of Tobago. Elizabeth is captured by the pirates of the God's Love, under the captaincy of a disgraced French nobleman, Levoisseur (Donato Champagne). Levoisseur plans to ransom Elizabeth to her father for a fat reward to keep his crew from mutinying. However, his plans are foiled by Commodore Eaton (Kip Plaisted), the regional commander of the British navy.

Eaton turns out to be a bit of a scoundrel himself and Elizabeth, now known as Bloody Bess, assumes the captaincy of the God's Love with the help of N'Gali (Khalil Lesaldo) and Annie Baily (Kerren Dumond), and settles an old score with Eaton.

Also in the cast are Jack Rackham (Scott Wright), the Greek (Danielle DeVoe), Cullen (Chad Marquis), Vicar Brownley (Catherine Whitsel) and various other characters played by Kara Hines, Clinton King, Romeo Theriault and cast of others.

Preview performances are planned for November 19 and 20. General admission is $5. UMFK students are admitted free with an ID. Bloody Bess contains scenes of violence and strong language and may not be suitable for children.

For additional information contact Zubrick at 834-7591.