DEXTER — The University of Maine at Farmington is bringing “Frankenstein,” Nick Dear’s play based on Mary Shelley’s gothic novel, to the stage as its spring theatrical production. This Theatre UMF production will be presented on March 2, 3, 4 at 7:30 p.m. and March 5 at 2 p.m., in Alumni Theater, Academy Street, on the Farmington campus.

One of the first contributions to the modern science fiction horror genre, Shelley’s story explores the limits of science and the idea of what it is to be human.

Dear’s adaptation of Shelley’s 1818 novel, tells the compelling story of Victor Frankenstein, a scientist who experiments to create a living human creature, from the creature’s point of view. This play has been performed at the National Theatre in London, featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller in revolving roles of the Creature and Victor Frankenstein.

Directed by Jayne Decker, award-winning director, playwright and UMF faculty member, the UMF production was cast early in the fall to help actors prepare for a challenging physical performance and extensive fight choreography.

“I am thrilled to have the rare opportunity to produce this play,” said Decker.” “While it’s a tremendous script, it’s very demanding of the actors, who are all current or former students as well as a Mt. Blue middle school student.”

“Several of them were in my fall Commedia class and learned the fight choreography needed to execute safe and convincing scenes. This is one of the most intense physical productions we’ve staged in recent years,” said Decker.

As in any Theatre UMF production, students play a key role as actors, composers providing original musical scores, costume design and stage management. Justin Reid, a senior from Portland majoring in performing arts, is the student actor portraying Frankenstein’s creature.

“To think this play, performed at the National Theatre in London, is on our campus is really amazing,” said Reid. “I am very grateful to be an element in this collaborative performance and for the opportunity to kickstart something in my life that will be valued in the professional world!”

“Our scenic and lighting design by Stan Spilecki is stunning and includes projections unlike anything we’ve done before. It is set to an original score by Emily Moore, a junior performing arts major and member of the cast. UMF seniors Emalyn Remington and Morgan Steward are the creative force behind the production’s costume design.” said Decker.

“Writing this score has been a wonderful opportunity,” said Moore. “I hope to go into film music and have been inspired by film composers such as John Williams and Hans Zimmer. Gaining this experience and being able to expand my portfolio for the future is so valuable, especially having the backing of Jayne Decker’s confidence in me.”

Decker has directed numerous productions at UMF Alumni Theater. Her production, “Coyote on a Fence,” was awarded a Moss Hart Memorial Award by the New England Theatre Conference, New England’s oldest and largest regional theater association.

She has also presented workshop productions of her original plays “Good Medicine;” “Stars Falling,” winner of the 2002 Maine Playwriting Award; “Jelly Moonshine;” and “Songbird,” a touring play about the Iraq War. “Cracked Shells,” an original play by Decker about domestic violence, was commissioned by Franklin County Network’s Peace in Our Families and was featured again at the 2009 Maine Women’s Studies Conference.  Her recent plays “Ruby Red, a Moment in the Life of” and “Migratory Birds” were finalists in drama for the Maine Literary Awards in 2021 and 2022.

The production contains adult content and language with a strong warning that it is not intended for children. The themes and story are intended for a mature audience.  

Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students 18 and under, and $5 for UMF students with ID. Tickets can be reserved by calling 778-7072. Some seats will be available on performance dates. They will be sold at the door prior to the performance.

Cast for Frankenstein

The Creature – Justin Reid, Portland
Victor Frankenstein – Cooper Davis, Scarborough
Gretel – Eva Tebbut, Brunswick
Client – AJ Boot, Gorham
Gustav – Sam Hammar, Kennebunk
Klaus – Klaus Jacobs, Essex, Md.
DeLacey- Joseph Campbell  (recent UMF grad)
Agatha – Anna Heneise, Dexter
Felix – Liam Peacock, Sandgate, Ver.
Elizabeth – Emalyn Remington, Farmington
Clarice – Morgan Steward, Anson
William – Wyatt Jessen (Mt. Blue Middle School student
Monsieur Frankenstein – Aidan Mulrooney, Farmington
Rab – AJ Booth, Gorham
Ewan – Aidan Lucas, Westbrook
Female Creature – Eva Tebbut, Brunswick
Constable – Sam Hammar, Kennebunk
Servants and singers – Emily Moore, Epsom, N.H.; Maggie Karnes, Bangor; Sam Hammar, Kennebunk; Aidan Lucas, Westbrook; AJ Booth, Gorham; Klaus Jacobs, Essex, Md.

Director and Fight Choreographer – Jayne Decker
Scenic and Lighting Design – Stan Splilecki
Sound Design – Joel Johnson
Original Music composed by Emily Moore
Costume Design Coordinators – Emalyn Remington, Farmington; and Morgan Steward, Anson
Stage Manager – Jo Lemahieu, Concord, N.H.

Produced by arrangement with Faber and Faber, London