The University of Maine at Presque Isle is pleased to be partnering with the Presque Isle Community Players to host a very special Fall Dinner Theater Presentation that will serve as the fundraising kick-off for the University's Auditorium Renovation Project. The Players will perform Country in the County on Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 11 and 12 and Oct. 18 and 19 in UMPI's Campus Center.
This evening of live music, featuring some of the area's most talented singers and musicians, will include many Country favorites, from Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline to Big and Rich and the Dixie Chicks. Tamia Glidden serves as this year's Production Director and Melbourne Smith is the Musical Director.
"The Presque Isle Community Players are very proud of the level of talent and the diverse selections of music and entertainment that we have performed for our County over the past 24 years. We have performed music from Gershwin, Broadway, the USO, and American folk as well as music from around the world," Jim Derosier, President of the Presque Isle Community Players, said. "The genre that we'll be performing this year is the largest segment of the music scene in America, and it is part of our American heritage. Country in the County is our salute to the old and the new of this American treasure. We will not only be introducing some classic country music, but we will also be introducing some new faces with outstanding voices."
During the Opening Night Gala on Oct. 11, theater-goers will be treated to a reception and social at the President's House at 5:30 p.m., dinner and the performance starting at 7 p.m. in the Campus Center, and, immediately following the show, an "Afterglow Reception" featuring decadent desserts and a champagne toast with the cast in the Alumni Room. Proper ID required. Tickets for this special evening are $50 each. For the Oct. 12, 18 and 19 performances, there will be a Social Hour at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m., and the performance at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 each. Seating is limited and tickets will only be sold in advance, so the public is encouraged to purchase tickets early.
"We are delighted to have the Players bring their talent and enthusiasm to UMPI for what is sure to be another wonderful dinner theater and to have the event serve as the fundraiser kick-off for our Auditorium Renovation Project," Keith Madore, UMPI's Director of Development, said. "Our Auditorium, located in Wieden Hall, is in serious need of renovations and we hope this event helps to restore the auditorium back to its former glory in the near future."
The Auditorium, which serves as a cultural arts center, an academic training ground, and a public forum for the exchange of ideas, is more than 50 years old. The 400-seat facility traditionally has been used an average of 2,300 hours per year and attracted a total yearly attendance of well over 50,000, but because of its deteriorating condition and outdated technology, its demand and occupancy have started to decline. Renovations for the project, estimated at about $500,000, are slated to include new seating, stage floor, ceiling, stage curtains, and dressing room; the addition of a remote, in-house control station; LED theatrical lighting; state-of-the-art sound system; heating system; new wiring; ADA accessibility improvements; and an electronic security system.
"Those attending this year's dinner theater are helping to make these renovations a reality," Madore said. "We're asking everyone—our campus and community and those who have frequented the auditorium over the years—to be a part of this special effort so the facility can once again be utilized to its full potential."
The menu for this year's dinner theater is Chicken Dominique (grilled chicken breast with a sun-dried tomato basil cream sauce), pasta primavera, roasted potatoes with rosemary, grilled seasonal vegetables, mixed green salad with ranch and balsamic dressings, rolls and butter, and assorted cakes for dessert.
Tickets are available now at the Aroostook Centre Mall, Goin' Postal, and UMPI's Campus Store in the Campus Center. The Campus Store will accept credit cards.
To learn more about the Dinner Theater and Auditorium Renovation Project or to make a donation, please visit www.umpi.edu/theater. For more information, please call 207-768-9452.