A futurist artist, played by Chloe Allen, left, shakes up the court of a pampered aristocrat, played by Sebastian Petrak, in Mina Loy’s “The Sacred Prostitute and Other Plays,” showing in the Emery Community Arts Center at the University of Maine at Farmington. Submitted photo

Students at the University of Maine at Farmington will present the first-ever campus student production of “The Sacred Prostitute and Other Plays” by Mina Loy.

This next stop on the world premiere tour will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, April 4-6; and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 7, in the Performance Space in the Emery Community Arts Center on the campus of the University of Maine at Farmington.

Written nearly 100 years ago by Loy, an artist, poet, playwright, feminist and entrepreneur, the illuminating plays explore many of yesterday’s and today’s issues with ribald and provocative humor.

The plays include, “Collision,” “Cittàbapini,” “Sacred Prostitute” and “The Pamperers.” They were written in the early 20th century and are as much literary as theatrical. Loy’s work pushes the boundaries of modern art, music and stage design. They will be directed by Melissa C. Thompson, associate professor of Visual and Performing Arts at UMF. Prior to the UMF production, Thompson directed and performed in the world premiere of these same plays with the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.

“This is such a great opportunity for my students to see their own issues in history and create a partnership with the audience where we can all explore the issues together,” said Thompson.

After the UMF production, Thompson and her students will be creating a digital resource guide for educators or theatre professionals working with Loy’s plays. The guide will include a link to the Farmington production.


“My students are really excited to stretch their theatrical skills with their performance,” said Thompson. “They are really investing themselves in the process and helping to determine what it looks like on stage. They will be working with a production designer from Michigan State University as they help to give birth to new, creative stage design.”

Thompson is an artist, a scholar, and a co-founder of the multi-disciplinary arts project The Sacred Heart Archive. As a fat, disabled, feminist performer, her personal performance aesthetic is inspired by embarrassing matters of the heart, the remembrance of trivial events, and depictions of physical endurance and vulnerability.  She has performed and conducted devised physical theatre workshops both nationally and internationally, working with a diverse group of artists from Richard Gough of the Center for Performance Research to the Jerusalem English-Speaking Theatre to Tim Miller of the “NEA Four”.

Her original multi-disciplinary performance piece, “The Key Said Run and the Door Said Fly,” created and performed with Julia Hinderlie, has been featured at many spaces across the United States, including the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art and Highways Performance Space, and she has ongoing collaborations with The Wandering Uterus Project, with whom she created and toured the interactive performance installation “All Night Check: Beautiful Young Ladies to Perform for You,” which was featured at the Festival of Original Theatre in Toronto, Canada.

Thompson received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she specialized in experimental performance, gender studies and critical theory.

The ensemble cast and crew: Aidan Lucas as Westbrook, Chloe Allen as Windham, Grayson Price as Winterport, Maggie Karnes as Bangor, Mia Chestnutt as Farmington, Sebastian Petrak as Unity and Belfast, and Zander Larriviere as Wilton.

The stage manager is Kelly Gentilo of Bethesda, Maryland; costume designer is Jo Le Mahieu of Concord, New Hampshire; the foley artist is Grayson Price of Winterport; and front of house is Abby Towne or Fairfield, Eva Tebbutt of Brunswick, and Miranda Shelley of Rangeley.

Admission cost $8 for the general public, $7 for seniors and $5 for students with student I.D.

For more information, email Melissa Thompson melissa.thompson@maine.edu.

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