Theater’s been in Elaine Bard’s blood for decades, but it wasn’t until last year that the Bangor resident finally bit the bullet and made good on the dream she’d had for years: starting a theater company.
“I’d talked about it forever. It was always just talk. And then finally, last spring, I was just like, ‘OK, if I don’t do it now I’m never going to do it,” said Bard, a familiar face to theater-goers in the area, having directed and designed for many companies including Ten Bucks Theatre, Winterport Open Stage and Orono Community Theatre. “And honestly, it was really quickly after that that everything got started.”
Some Theatre Company, which will stage its second-ever production, “Clue: The Musical,” this weekend and next, is a different beast from other community and non-professional theater companies in eastern Maine. For starters, for its first production, Bard chose a decidedly offbeat show: “Evil Dead: The Musical,” a gory, hilarious take on the 1980s classic horror film.
“I think what sets us apart is that we really want to do musicals because there just aren’t a lot of them done in the area, and I think a lot of people would rather do musicals than straight plays. And that we really want to do things that are inclusive of everyone. We always want to encourage new people to try theater and get involved and be a part of it,” said Bard. “If you haven’t done theater in years and years and you want to try again, or even if you’ve always wanted to, you can come try it with us.”
Though they operate on a shoestring budget, Bard and her cohorts at Some — including her partner in crime, music director Christina Belknap — have big ambitions. A show like “Clue,” with 216 possible endings? No problem. Creating gallons and gallons of fake blood and wrapping half of the Keith Anderson Community Center in Orono in plastic wrap for “Evil Dead”? Bring it on.
“I like things that are a challenge,” said Bard.
“Clue: The Musical,” like “Evil Dead,” is a cult favorite. It sets the basic premise of the Clue board game — figuring out who is guilty among six suspects in the murder of Mr. Boddy — into musical form. Audience members get to pick one among the 216 possible ending for the show. Interactivity is another thing Bard wants to make a regular part of Some Theatre Company’s shows.
“I love bringing the audience into the action,” she said. “I think you open up the eyes of people that probably would not otherwise go see live theater. I think there are a lot of people, especially young people, that don’t go see theater because they think it’s boring. Well, our shows are definitely not boring.”
Bard, a mother of four children, all of whom are involved in theater in one way or another, and wife to Gerry Bard, technical director at the Waterville Opera House, lives and breathes theater. After more than a decade taking part in just about every element there is to local theater — director, designer, costumer, actor — she’s developed a unique perspective on how to bring younger generations and underserved populations into the fold.
“The most important thing to me is to make sure we get new people in the audience, and new people in the casts,” said Bard. “We don’t want to turn away anybody. We’ll find a place for you somewhere. If you want to be involved, you can be.”
“Clue: The Musical” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26 and 27 and March 4 and 5, and at 2 p.m. Feb. 28 and March 6 at the Keith Anderson Community Center on the Bennoch Road in Orono. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students, and are available online at http://cluethemusicalstc.bpt.me/ or at the door.