(Buxton, ME) The Whales of August, a classic of modern theater by playwright David Berry, tussles with questions of aging. The play, set on an island off the coast of Maine, revolves around a 70-year-old sister who is a virtual servant to her needy older sister, and who desperately wants to break out on her own and experience life again. And if there is romance in her future, so be it.

The Whales of August is produced by the Daytime Players and sponsored by the Saco River Theatre.

The Daytime Players’ production of The Whales of August is most likely the first (at least in the Portland area) featuring an age-appropriate cast. The leading characters in the script are 75 and 86 years old, and are played in this performance by actresses aged 70 and 85, respectively. The rest of the characters in the script are seniors, and this production features senior cast members in those roles as well.

“Why is it important to have an older cast?” asks director Katy Marshall. “The script deals with some important issues brought on by aging: whether to give in and forgive long-standing grievances or carry them to the grave; whether it is seemly to fall in love again; what will become of us in old age?; who will take care of us?; and will we have enough money to live out our years comfortably? It’s a long list that would be very difficult for younger actors to enact.

Whales star Muriel Kenderdine—definitely considered the grand dame of Portland theater—is as talented as anyone around,” Marshall says.

Kenderdine’s list of roles and shows including musicals, comedies, dramas, movies, ads, and more stretch back 63 years. Her only concession to aging is that she doesn’t do high-stepping dance numbers anymore.

Performance Schedule & Venue

At 7:30 pm on Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1
At 2:30 pm on Sunday, April 2

All performances will be held at the Old White Church, located at 15 Salmon Falls Road in Buxton. Tickets, available at the door, are $10 and payable by cash or check only.

The Daytime Players

The Daytime Players is a troupe of senior actors, directors and playwrights with an open-door policy, welcoming anyone who wants to be involved. For more information, please email [email protected].

Saco River Theatre

The Saco River Theatre (SRT) is a performing arts center and community hub dedicated to providing accessible, diversified cultural and educational programs to the general public by acting as a professional theater, music venue, cross-disciplinary arts lab, and exhibition space. For more information, please call 207-929-6472 or visit www.sacorivertheatre.org.

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