Austin Frederick, Sarah Carnahan (front), Jonas Maines, Tim Davis, Katie Kirwan, Jennifer Beloin, and Michaela Carney star in the UMF production of “Last Gas.” Submitted photo

John Cariani’s “Last Gas” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 19, at the Emery Performance Space in the UMF Emery Community Arts Center on the campus of the University of Maine at Farmington on Academy Street.

“Last Gas” tells the story of a community in Northern Maine and a gas station – the last gas station before hitting Canada. The main character, Nat, has taken over the business from his dad, Dwight. Nat is an incredibly unhappy guy, stuck in a life he isn’t sure he wants, and desperate to “get back to happy.” When an old fling comes back for her mom’s funeral, Nat thinks this could be the change he is looking for. The play made its debut at Portland Stage in 2010.

The production is directed by Gavin Pickering, UMF mental health counselor and a Northern Maine native whose grandfather and great grandfather owned gas stations both on the Maine/Canada border in Western Maine and in Northern Maine near Lincoln. Pickering is a UMF alum with an undergraduate degree in Secondary Education and a minor in theatre. He received his master’s in both School Counseling and Mental Health Counseling from UMaine.

Pickering has performed in shows at UMF and community theaters around the state. He has directed educational theatre at UMF and UMaine and has also directed multiple shows in the area including “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at Sparrow’s Nest Theatre and “Small Mouth Sounds” at Emery Community Arts Center.

“I first saw this show at Penobscot Theatre in 2011, and was inspired by a play that felt so close to home. To choose between staying and fulfilling family obligations, or leaving to make a new and better life is one of the hardest decisions to make,” said Pickering.

The cast, made up of local community members who bring these complex Maine characters to life, features Jonas Maines, Sarah Carnahan, Austin Frederick, Tim Davis, Katie Kirwan, Michaela Carney and Jennifer Beloin.

Playwright John Cariani, born and raised in Presque Isle, is best known for his first play, “Almost, Maine,” which premiered at the Portland Stage Company in 2004. It has become one of the most frequently produced plays in the world. Cariani has also had a successful acting career in film and on television.

Tickets cost $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors. Tickets may be purchased with Venmo or cash at the door, or online at

For more information contact Ann Bartges, director of UMF Emery Community Arts Center at or 207-778-7461.

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