‘You Can’t Sit Here’, a children’s opera which explores issues of bullying and friendship, will be performed this month for fourth through eighth grade students from 15 local schools: March 25-26 in Machias and 27-28 in Eastport. Homeschooling families are invited to attend a performance; please contact Helen Swallow, hswallow40@gmail.com, to reserve seats.
With original music by Gregory Biss and lyrics and dialogue by Catherine J.S. Lee, the production is presented by Eastport Arts Center, featuring a cast of 12 students, ages 10 to 17, hailing from Charlotte, Cutler, Eastport, Pembroke and Perry, as well as a mini-orchestra of 10 musicians. A performance for the general public will be offered at 7 pm, Friday, March 29, at the Arts Center.

A project of the Music for Children Program, originally a component of the now-disbanded Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra, this production follows on the heels of memorable children’s shows Brundibar (2018), Hansel and Gretel (2016) and Peter and the Wolf (2014), all of which were presented widely to Washington County students. Brundibar, with a cast of 28 young performers, reached 1,500 area children from 20 schools, as well as homeschoolers.

In order to prepare to see the show, teachers and families are encouraged to play for their students a recording of Peter and the Wolf—a classic which helps students to identify the voices of orchestra instruments by casting them as different characters in the exciting story.  There are many versions of this piece available via YouTube, or try this one.

Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport, and is handicapped-accessible. EAC abides by the State of Maine CDC COVID guidelines, revisiting our policy monthly. At this time, the use of masks in our building is optional. 

 ‘You Can’t Sit Here,’ a children’s opera by Gregory Biss (music) and Catherine J.S. Lee (script and lyrics), featuring a cast of 12 students and a mini-orchestra of 10 musicians, is in rehearsal for a late March series of performances for local students. Brian Schuth (center, on stage) is director, and Chris Grannis (far right, on stage) is doing set design; many others are involved on the technical side, guided by assistant director/producer team, Helen Swallow (seated, in ‘the band’) and Sarah Dalton-Phillips (center). Photo by Jude Kempe.