where Maine goes to laugh...
well one of the places anyway
where Maine goes to laugh...
well one of the places anyway
From all of us at Maine Repertory Theater and The Chamber of Comedy we hope you and your loved ones are faring well during this awful bug still floating about. We think you’d agree the novelty is over and it's time to move on to another drama. Hmm…anything happening in November?
As a presenter of comedy I must admit there are days when keeping a sense of humor through all of this has been a challenge to say the least, but we hope you’re enjoying the silly weekly updates we have been pumping out here, posted below – occasionally featuring one of the members of The Chamber as a “special” guest.
We had been posting the newest “Week in Review” on Saturday nights, or tried to for the most part, (sometimes a technical snafu would delay it) but we are now going to release our weekly comedy masterpieces on Sunday evenings at 7:00. This gives Dave a little extra time to sober up and get all the post-production compete. You see, while I might be the writer and director of most of these gems, Dave is the mastermind behind the graphics, music and such, making these updates much more entertaining than they otherwise would have been. And if you like what you see, please share with others! We have our previous updates underneath our current one, probably enough to keep you entertained for at least an hour or so if you watch them all in one sitting, but we wouldn’t recommend it.
When we were mandated by the Governor to close our doors in the middle of March because of the virus, who would have thought that seven months, yes seven months later I’d be writing to you from prison. Okay I tucked that in here just to see if you were still paying attention. I’m not in prison, yet.
As with so many other performance groups we are still in limbo with no definitive answer as to what is allowed in order to perform a live show, and we’re not complaining about that; it’s understandable as things are in constant flux with COVID spikes happening in nearly half the country as I write this. For those who have been in the venue we used to occupy you know our square footage was somewhat limited to begin with, and following the most recent social distancing guidelines we came to realize that once allowed to open, whenever that would be, at best we could perform (masked) for maybe twenty people, assuming twenty people would want to risk their safety and attend a show in a closed-in space with not the best ventilation during this worldwide pandemic. And at twenty people, we would be losing even more money than if we kept our doors closed all the while risking the health and well-being of everyone involved.
Unlike some other businesses our situation was unique. Our hands were tied as to how to re-invent ourselves in the physical location, performing with masked performers in front of a live audience. But it’s really a moot point, since despite our best efforts to do the right and legal thing with closing our doors during this time, and despite the fact that when we were open and contributed to the community with our numerous non-profit benefit nights, fundraising performances, and raising over a ton of food for the local food pantries, we were still given the ultimatum to pay up what’s due, (while no ticket revenue was coming in) or move out of our space. So we moved out.
And we fear the drama with our former landlord isn’t over yet. Unlike nearly everything else we have been able to make light of, it’s very hard to make this virus or greed a funny thing. For those of you in the same boat, God forbid, we feel your pain and wish you the very best as you try to get through this awful mess as well.
Meanwhile, we continue to plug along. We’ll keep you posted on all things regarding Maine Rep and The Chamber of Comedy as we continue searching for a new place to call home. So until we can get back on stage, live and unmasked in front of our beautiful patient audience, please enjoy and share our little weekly nuggets of “Week in Review” goofiness.
You can look for another letter here in November, hopefully with more promising updates, but ideally much shorter than this one.
We miss you.
Socially responsible hugs,
WITH HEARTFELT GRATITUDE…
We would like to thank the following individuals who have shown such generosity and faith in our work before this pandemic forced us to close more than seven months ago. We feel extremely blessed for the help from our Maine Rep and Chamber of Comedy friends and family. If not for your financial aid or in-kind contributions during this down time Maine Repertory Theater and The Chamber of Comedy would be just a memory. But because of you, we still have a future.
Lois Samuels Doctor Harry Chamberlin Alan Burnette
Brenda Hoyt Brackman Dixie Squires Molly McGill
Sherry Corbeil David Hanright Pam Stevens
Melissa Suey Stephanie Wigginton Alyssa Hochheiser
Sarah S. Thompson Randy Hunt Ann Fisher
Lucy Brown Samuel Kuykendall Lulubell Anzalone
Andrew D’Angio White Lori Sukalas Cindy Kueck
Emily Judkins Kelly Thayer Bill Southwick
Dan Jackson Maureen Cain Ted Freeman
Joan Brochu Kathleen Burke Cordelia Lane
David Ciampa Jill Irving Mary Ellen White
Donald Wiggins Kelly Gunn Dorothy Mathes
Andrea Perry Anne Morin Kathyryn Letellier
Ian Hoyt Courtney Kurlanska Joe Pagano
Gail Krusec Jon Cofield Girth Spangley
Christine Leach Christine Madden Sean Murphy
Sandy and Joe Mekonis Dennis and Laura Hunt
Ottilie and Spiros Droggitis Nathan and Erin Greene
Joyce and Stan Sobus
Mike Israelson, General Courier
Deb Whitworth, HR Studio Group LLC
Jennifer Bourgeault, Collective Motion Arts Center
Bob LeBlanc, Balderdash Academy
Bob Letellier, RE/MAX
And the list keeps growing. May we add YOUR name next?
Your support and contribution will enable us to open back up at a new location and continue to serve the community all the while making you bust a gut laughing. It'll also allow Amanda to continue scaring Nate.
Here is our go fund me page link to donate here as well.
Welcome to the Maine Repertory Theater website. We’re glad you stopped in, if even for just a bit.
Founded in 2018 by Steve Burnette and David Hanright Maine Repertory Theater is the region’s newest production company, presenting a variety of entertaining, thought-provoking, typically light-hearted productions; including improv, sketch comedy, mystery dinner theater, original radio shows, trivia nights, game shows, comedy festivals, published works, special events, and the occasional world premiere of an original script.
Maine Rep is dedicated to helping non-profits and others in need in our community, providing a number of benefit performances for various causes and individuals while also raising over one ton of food for the local food pantries through our Legacy Project's United We Weigh Foodraising Campaign.
What’s a show by The Chamber of Comedy about? Your guess is as good as ours as the area’s top improv comedy performers present a two-act evening of jaw-dropping, knee-slapping, beverage-spurting-through your nose original comedy, based on suggestions by you, our mostly lovely audience. Five or six of our ensemble of thirteen improv comedy masters perform on any given night, and since no two casts are ever alike, and no two audiences are ever alike, no two shows are ever alike, and that’s great, especially if our previous show stunk like a wet towel hidden under the front seat of a hot Buick in August.
With The Chamber of Comedy, every night is opening night!
The Chamber of Customized Comedy is a unique and exciting entertainment option, reaching out to corporations, fraternal organizations, small businesses, wedding parties, and non-profits for private, customized performances.
Ideal for any small-to-midsize group or organization looking for a fresh alternative to thank your fellow industry professionals, employees, their families, potential customers, or those just looking for an outside the box evening of laughter. Come to think of it, we're not such a bad idea for your next fundraiser as well.
We encourage our patrons attending any performance to bring with them a donation of non-perishable food items. At the end of each month we will deliver your donations to Seeds of Hope, right here in Biddeford. This program we like to call our United We Weigh Foodraising Campaign. Because of your generosity, Maine Rep collected and delivered over one ton of food in 2019 between the Biddeford Food Pantry and Saco Food Pantry.
Ever wanted to try your hand at improv comedy?
Looking for a class that can help with your shyness or public awkwardness?
Tired of reading these questions in italics?
LAUGH You is an affordable school for improv and sketch comedy creation and performance taught exclusively at Maine Rep.
Ninety-minute workshops are offered to three age groups, 7th and 8th graders, high school students, and adults. These small size groups will meet once a week for six weeks, then if interested and if requirements have been met students will have the option to advance to the next level after a brief break.
LAUGH You Student Progress Performance Nights for invited friends and family are offered following the completion of level two and level four, with a public performance presented at the completion of the entire program.
Given the current COVID-19 Virus outbreak we are reassessing when and where we will be offering our next session of classes. Please visit this section often or drop us an email requesting schedule updates as we have them available.