The USM Department of Theatre welcomes audiences back to theatre with a free, family-friendly, traveling outdoor show, “The Marvelous Meep Island Adventure.”

On the marvelous Meep Island, the Meeps play all day long; until, one fine day, the Somethings come along … Are these Somethings unpleasant? Will these Somethings be kind? What sort of Somethings did the little Meeps find? Come be part of our story and see how it ends; maybe Somethings and Meeps can somehow be friends. A free theatre event for audiences of all ages, presented outside in October on a variety of stages. Bring a blanket, chairs, a picnic.

The play is a devised production based on the play “Meep” by Ed Swidey, directed by USM Theatre Department Chair Sara Valentine and assistant directed by physical comedian Jared Mongeau. USM Theatre students are working with movement specialists, artists, and musicians to create a fantastic story for the whole family.

Director Sara Valentine describes the show this way, “Meep Island is home to the creatures called the Meeps. They create each day with immense joy and adventure and imagination. Their way of life is threatened when a few Somethings wash up on their shore and enforce a new dynamic on the island. This play is about friendship and community, and it’s also about finding joy and embracing each individual’s unique contribution. The play works on many levels, and we are sure that everyone will be able to relate to the story of the play. It is wildly fun but has moments of poignancy. The Meeps are a very special community, and our hope is that their story may inspire us to find ways to keep joy and lightness close to our hearts even when things seem bleak,” according to a news release from the department.

USM Theatre students are creating the play, which is driven by complex, rhythmic movement and mime. The show will feature live music accompaniment and that, in combination with sound effects, are the chief storytelling devices of the play.

The Marvelous Meep Island Adventure runs Oct. 8-17 at various locations and times throughout southern Maine. Presented by the University of Southern Maine Department of Theatre in partnership with: The City of Auburn, The Town of Bowdoinham, The Arts & Cultural Alliance of Freeport, Lewiston Public Library, The City of Portland, The Boys and Girls Club of Southern Maine in South Portland, and Westbrook Housing Authority.

This event is free and no reservations are needed. For more information, visit usm.maine.edu/theatre, or call the USM Theatre Box Office at 207-780-5151.

Performances dates, times, and locations:

Friday Oct. 8, at 4 p.m., in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine at Jordan Field located at Brick Hill` Townhouses, South Portland;

Saturday, Oct. 9, at 11 a.m. in partnership with Lewiston Public Library at Kennedy Park, Lewiston;

Saturday, Oct. 9, at 3:30 p.m., in partnership with the City of Auburn at Festival Plaza, Auburn;

Sunday, Oct. 10, at 2 p.m., in partnership with the City of Portland at Deering Oaks Park, Portland;

Friday, Oct. 15, at 4 p.m., in partnership with the Westbrook Housing Authority at Larrabee Woods, 9 Dottie’s Way, Westbrook;

Saturday, Oct. 16, at 11 a.m., in partnership with the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Freeport at Memorial Park (corner of Bow and Park Streets), Freeport;

Saturday, Oct. 16, at 3:30 p.m., in partnership with the Town of Bowdoinham at Mailey Waterfront Park, Bowdoinham; and

Sunday, Oct. 17, at 2 p.m., USM Gorham Campus.

Those needing special accommodations to participate fully in this program, contact Janice Gardner at 207-780-5289 or [email protected]. Hearing impaired: call USM’s telex / TDD number 207-780-5646

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