This is a busy month for Building Community Through the Arts! For the past two weeks all the ninth grade students in Bethel’s Telstar High School, who are participating in a morning experiential learning program at nearby Bryant Pond, have been doing a BCTA creative theater residency as part of that morning program. The students have been creating tableaux and learning improvisation skills with BCTA theater artist Libby Marcus, who is also linking their creative work to their reading of Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck.

 (photos are from previous BCTA residencies)

Meanwhile in Piscataquis County BCTA theater residencies are also in full swing at two classes in Penquis Valley HS in Milo and two classes in Piscataquis County Secondary School in Guilford. The students of Joseph Hennessey’s two senior English classes in PCSS are working with artist Jeri Pitcher to creatively engage with their reading of Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe. At Penquis Valley HS artist Beverly Mann is working with Chad Emery’s College Prep 10 English class as well as with Mr. Emery’s small (but very enthusiastic!) drama class. One of the PCSS groups and both Penquis classes will be gathering on Tuesday, October 27th at a performance conference at the Center Theatre in Dover-Foxcroft ( The three performances will run from 9:45 to 10:45 am and the public is invited. Admission is free. There will be a second set of performances at the Center Theatre at 7 pm on the following Tuesday, November 3rd. The evening performances, by the other PCSS group and the Penquis Valley drama class, will be an opportunity also for the community to learn more about and support the BCTA program at these schools. Admission is by donation, with all donations going toward the program’s continuation at PCSS and Penquis Valley in 2016.


For the program at Bryant Pond MAAE is grateful for the support of the Robbins-de Beaumont Foundation and the Jane B. Cook 1983 Charitable Trust. For the program in Piscataquis County we are also very grateful to the Piscataquis County Fund of the Maine Community Foundation and the Maine Arts Commission for their generous support, as well as to the Center Theatre in Dover Foxcroft, whose active partnership has helped us bring this student project to the whole community.