“The theme of loneliness and isolation is universal, especially in the time of a global pandemic,” writes Jenie Smith, who’ll give a performance of Jean Cocteau’s The Human Voice as part of Stage East’s return to live theater, a double header of one-acts which also includes Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett. Smith first read Cocteau’s play in the mid 1980s. “The lovely coincidence of performing this as part of the first live event at EAC in over a year is true poetic justice.” 

Krapp’s Last Tape and The Human Voice  will be played back-to-back June 4, 5 11 and 12, at 7 pm, and June 6 and 13 at 2 pm. Both plays are short one-person works that deal with themes of isolation and technology, and are being mounted by a vaccinated cast and crew with strict adherence to CDC guidelines to create a safe and enjoyable night of theater for attendees. 

Director Mark Macey captured his two leads in this video sneak peek at the production!

“They’re both quite funny, actually,” director Mark Macey said. “We wanted to offer people a balance: something substantial that speaks to this moment but isn’t an overwhelming downer. I think we’ve hit that target.”

The production brings together many familiar faces from Stage East’s last in person show, Dear Elizabeth, including Mark Macey, director; Anne Moody, producer; Bernie Cecire, technical director; Don Bailey and Kim Vogel, light and sound operators; John Leavitt, graphic designer; Joan Lowden, bassist; and Brian Schuth and Jenie Smith, actors. The team is thrilled to be joined by lighting designer Lou Esposito, musician Alice Schuth, and Chris Grannis, who is helping broadly with set, props, and crew. Kieran Weston will assist as stage hand.

Schuth, who is also Stage East’s president, is excited for the theater to reopen. “A few months back, as we dared to hope we might be able to perform live again, I thought ‘We need something to go in the theater just as soon as it is safe. But how to rehearse?’ And then I remembered the Beckett, and that Jenie had been working on the Cocteau, and suddenly we had a plan. We didn’t even realize at the time that both plays show people alone, using machines to help them make sense of their relationships, something that resonates with many of us much more now than it might have a year ago.” 

Brian Schuth, the titular Krapp in Krapp’s Last Tape, works through some complicated blocking involving the reel-to-reel player.

Tickets, $16, may be purchased here. Tickets will not be available at the door. Attendees who would like assistance purchasing tickets can leave a message at the EAC box office, (207) 853-4650. For more information about the safety protocols in place for this production, please email brian@schuth.com.

Surprise! Producer Anne Moody is presented with a birthday cake by her son Mack during a tech rehearsal. Yuki Sakai follows close behind with a tart.