Actors and directors at the University of Maine are embracing change as they rehearse for Metamorphoses, a play that explores transformations.
Many of their adjustments are because the play takes place in an 18-inch-deep, 30-foot-wide-by-14-foot-long pool filled with 8,500 gallons of water. UMaine Associate Professor of Theatre Marcia Joy Douglas directs the production, in which 150 audience members will be seated on stage adjacent to the actors.
“It’s such a unique theater experience,” says Douglas. “I love the magic that takes place in a theater. The lights, the sounds, the costumes — all of it, in particular with this show. I can guarantee people have never seen anything like it.”
Playwright Mary Zimmerman earned a Tony Award for best direction in her Broadway hit Metamorphoses, which she based on David R. Slavitt’s translation of Roman poet Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Ovid wrote the poem of 15 books and more than 250 myths, circa A.D. 8, the same year that Augustus exiled him. It explores transformations undergone from the beginning of time until Julius Caesar was deified.
During rehearsals, Douglas says she kept inventing ways to best use the water — which represents cleansing, dying, change and emotion. “It’s a character in the play,” she says.
Each central character — whether it’s King Midas or Myrrha — imparts a lesson. “Myths teach us about what it is to be human,” she says.
Douglas chose Metamorphoses after asking UMaine Assistant Professor and set designer Daniel Bilodeau for titles of plays he would like to design. “I like to get input,” she says. “I’ve never had a designer take me up on it before. I asked Dan about five times, ‘Are you sure we can do the pool?’”
Technical Director Joe Donovan constructed the pool, which is almost completely drained after each night’s rehearsal. Each afternoon it’s refilled with hot water and a chlorine tablet is added. Bilodeau said structural engineers rated the stage floor, which is directly above the costume shop, to ensure it could safely sustain the weight of the filled pool.
The water was a big draw for Nellie Kelly, a junior theatre and history major from Boothbay, Maine, who plays Myrrha. “I’ve done a lot of shows but the idea of working in a pool was an awesome opportunity,” says Kelly. “When we added costumes it became more challenging. The fabric gets heavy and your movement slows but that adds interest.”
Approximately 50 students are taking part in the School of Performing Arts’ production, in which 13 actors don 85 costumes designed by Jonna Klaiber. “It’s challenging with the costumes getting wet every night,” Klaiber says good-naturedly. “I painted some of the costumes in an artistic way and that got washed out.”
There will be seven performances — at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23 and at 2 p.m. Nov. 17 and 24. Content is mature. Tickets are $10, free with a student MaineCard. Tickets may be purchased at umaine.edu/spa or at the door one hour before the show. To request a disability accommodation, call 207.581.1781.
UMaine President Paul Ferguson has named Seth Woodcock as interim athletics director, effective Nov. 18. Woodcock is UMaine’s associate athletic director for development and a senior development officer. He will serve until the new athletics director is in residence.
“Seth brings to this interim appointment a firm understanding and commitment to Black Bear Athletics and a strong relationship with current Black Bear coaches, staff, students and donors,” says President Ferguson. “Seth is well known for his strong work ethic and effective interpersonal skills.”
A national search is underway for the next permanent athletics director, with candidates expected to visit campus later this fall. The search committee, chaired by Robert Strong, professor of finance and UMaine’s NCAA faculty representative, will provide names of recommended candidates to President Ferguson with the intention of filling the position early in 2014.
“I am humbled and honored to accept President Ferguson’s appointment as interim athletics director at the University of Maine — my alma mater,” says Woodcock. “Our coaches, administrators and staff at Maine’s only Division I athletic program will progress as a team in an atmosphere of integrity, trust and hard work. We will continue to develop and produce quality student-athletes and a nationally recognized athletic program for our fans.”
Woodcock was named associate athletic director for development in 2012. Prior to joining UMaine, for a decade he was a major gift officer and campaign officer for Maine Medical Center in Portland. From 2000-02, he was a legislative aide to Maine Senate President Rick Bennett. Woodcock graduated from UMaine in 1999 with a degree in mass communication.
Woodcock, who lives in Windham, will take up residence in Orono during his interim appointment. He has been tasked to address several priority issues in staff and budget management, strategic planning and donor development.
In September, after three years of service, Abbott announced he would return as chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a position he held from 1997–2009.
Abbott’s UMaine contract ran through December.
The Associated Press, Portland Press Herald, WLBZ (Channel 2), 92.9 The Ticket, Bangor Daily News and WABI (Channel 5) were among news organizations to report on the announcement made by University of Maine President Paul Ferguson naming Seth Woodcock interim athletics director, effective Nov. 18. Woodcock is UMaine’s associate athletic director for development and a senior development officer. Current UMaine Athletics Director Steve Abbott will leave Nov. 15. NewsRADIO 560 WGAN, NECN, Sun Journal and MPBN carried the AP report.
A group of University of Maine nursing students attended a Veazie town council meeting to present their findings about the health effects of trihalomethanes (THMs) after residents showed concern over chemicals in their water, WABI reported. THMs are formed when chlorine and other disinfectants are mixed with organic matter and exposure can lead to an increased risk of bladder, colon and rectal cancer. The students said THM levels up to 80 parts per billion are acceptable. Orono-Veazie Water District Superintendent Dennis Cross said he had “no concerns” over THM levels after a 2011 sample showed Veazie’s levels at 89 parts per billion.
WLBZ (Channel 2) and Bangor Daily News reported on the first of three public meetings being held by University of Maine representatives to share updates on the planned 12-megawatt offshore wind demonstration project by Maine Aqua Ventus GP LLC. During the first meeting in Friendship, university officials including Jake Ward, UMaine’s vice president for innovation and economic development, showed residents the research they are currently doing. Some residents, including State Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos, I-Friendship, were concerned over the effects the project could have on fishing in the area. Ward said they are studying the effects the turbines will have on fishermen, boats and wildlife. WLBZ also carried a report about Volturnus 1:8 — the UMaine-led DeepCwind Consortium’s test turbine off Castine — withstanding a storm earlier in November.
The Bangor Daily News published an opinion piece by Sandra Butler, a professor of social work at the University of Maine, and Nancy Kelly, field director at UMaine’s School of Social Work. The article titled “Despite historic changes, it still can be scary to be old and gay,” focuses on gay rights in Maine and the rest of the country.
Habib Dagher, director of the Advanced Structures and Composites Center at the University of Maine, was mentioned in a Portland Press Herald article on the Turkish Cultural Center Maine’s first Friendship Dinner. Dagher, Gov. Paul LePage and Maine Deputy Attorney General and Augusta Mayor William Stokes were all honored at the South Portland event.
The University of Maine Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism and the Old Town-Orono YMCA are holding the fourth annual GobbleFest on Sunday, Nov. 17.
UMaine students will be at the YMCA from 1 to 4 p.m. collecting turkeys and cash donations, which will be used by Crossroads Ministries to provide a Thanksgiving dinner to families in need.
The Bodwell Center will continue collecting turkeys and cash donations until Nov. 22. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday–Friday.
For more information, call Lisa Morin at the Bodwell Center at 207.581.4197 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students in the University of Maine’s College of Education and Human Development visited the Cole Land Transportation Museum in Bangor to learn about war and the sacrifices veterans make, WLBZ (Channel 2) and the Bangor Daily News reported. Galen Cole, the museum’s founder, said he invites education students to the museum in hopes they will one day bring their students back when they start teaching. The museum also provides scholarships to UMaine education majors.
The National Science Foundation’s website Research.gov published an article on research by a Maine Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Sustainability Solutions Initiative (SSI) team at the University of Maine. The team is developing tools to help Maine communities better understand and prepare for the potential local effects of climate change. NSF is funding the project.
The University of Maine football team was mentioned in the Press Herald article “Football programs working to rid Maine of bullying.” Jack Cosgrove, UMaine’s head football coach, said his team doesn’t differentiate between hazing and bullying, and hazing can “create a culture of unacceptable behavior” and “is a form of bullying.” Marcus Wasilewski, UMaine’s quarterback, said the violent and emotional nature of football can lead to confrontations between teammates, but it’s important not to let them escalate.
Lee Jackson, a 19-year-old political science major at the University of Maine, spoke to the Bangor Daily News about becoming the newest member of the Old Town school board. Jackson said he feels he has a “unique perspective” after graduating from the school system two years ago. He said he never felt connected to his school or community until he moved to Old Town and wants to return the favor as part of the Regional School Unit 34 board of directors. The Associated Press also carried a version of the BDN article which was published by WLBZ (Channel 2) and Boston.com.
The Penobscot Bay Pilot and the Associated Press advanced three public meetings in Friendship, Bristol and Port Clyde that will be held by the University of Maine to share updates on the planned 12-megawatt offshore wind demonstration project by Maine Aqua Ventus GP LLC. Boston.com, Daily Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Portland Press Herald, WGME (Channel 13), WABI (Channel 5) and WLBZ (Channel 2) were among news organizations to carry the AP report.
A Morning Sentinel article on immigrants relocating to Maine and a recent influx of Iraqi families moving to Augusta cited research by Kim Huisman, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Maine. According to a 2009 study by Huisman, 95 percent of the Somali population in Maine can be classified as secondary immigrants, or refugees who come to Maine after initially settling in other parts of the country.
A Bangor Daily News editorial titled “Want Bangor to be Silicon Valley East? Here are 3 ideas to start making it happen” cited the University of Maine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation and the Target Technology Incubator as important resources in the Bangor region that can help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
Sachiko Akiyama, an artist with work currently on display at the University of Maine Museum of Art in Bangor, will give a gallery talk and answer questions at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15 at the museum.
Akiyama creates sculptures — carved primarily from wood — that are often self-portraits. The artist will discuss the works in her UMMA exhibition “On Finding Home,” her creative process and the inspiration behind her work.
Sachiko Akiyama is a professor of sculpture at Boston University.
The event is free and open to the public.
Posted November 11, 2013
Since 2012, graduate students in Communication and Journalism have co-authored 15 publications (student authors are in bold).
Smith, H., & Norton, T. (2013). Environmental Groups on Par with Government Sources. Newspaper Research Journal, 34 (1), 50-61.
McGreavy, B., Hutchins, K., Smith, H., Lindenfeld, L., Silka, L. (2013) Addressing the complexities of boundary work in sustainability science through communication, Sustainability, 5(10), 4195-4221.
Green-Hamman, S., & Sherblom, J. C. (forthcoming). The influences of optimal matching and social capital on communicating support. Journal of Health Communication.
Smith, H., & Norton, T. (forthcoming). That’s why I call it a task farce: Organizations in participatory processes. Environmental Communication.
McGreavy, B., Silka, L., & Lindenfeld, L. (forthcoming) Interdisciplinarity and actionable science: Exploring the generative potential in difference. Journal of Community Practice.
McGreavy, B., and Lindenfeld, L. (forthcoming). Entertaining our way to engagement? Climate change films and sustainable development values. International Journal of Sustainable Development.
Lindenfeld, L., Smith, H., & Norton, T. (Forthcoming). Risk Communication & Sustainability Science: Lessons from the Field. Sustainability Science.
WVII (Channel 7), WABI (Channel 5) and the Bangor Daily News covered the 2013 William S. Cohen Lecture at the University of Maine. “The State of Our Nation: Hardball vs. Civility” was the focus of the lecture featuring former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson, co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Simpson was joined by former Secretary of Defense William Cohen in the discussion moderated by Mark Woodward, UMaine alumnus and former BDN executive editor. Simpson and Cohen spoke about the need for Americans to take control of government and demand that elected officials work together.
Paul Knowles, a lecturer in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Maine, was interviewed in an Education Week blog post titled “Entrepreneurial approach could help struggling schools, educator says.” Knowles said with shrinking resources and declining enrollments in Maine, educators need to learn more lessons from entrepreneurs. He calls for this entrepreneurial-style leadership in a commentary for the American Association of School Administrators titled “Superintendents who are inviting, entrepreneurial and gritty.”
The University of Maine will hold three public meetings in Friendship, Bristol and Port Clyde to share updates on the planned 12-megawatt offshore wind demonstration project by Maine Aqua Ventus GP LLC.
The meetings, from 6–8 p.m., will be held: Nov. 12, Friendship Town Office; Nov. 14, Bristol Consolidated School; and Nov. 25, Herring Gut Learning Center, Port Clyde. Moderating the meetings will be Maine Sea Grant Director Paul Anderson.
Community members interested in learning more about the offshore wind demonstration project are urged to attend.