Bethel Village Hosts Maine Performing Arts Festival August 9-13

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Inaugural event offers engaging theatre performances along with New England charm in a laid back style enjoyable by the whole family. Western Maine is quickly gaining on western Massachusetts in the world of performing arts festivities. The picturesque streets of Bethel Village in western Maine will come alive during the second week of August when the inaugural Maine Performing Arts Festival brings folklore, fanfare and families together. The festivities get underway on Wednesday, Aug. 9 and continue through Sunday, Aug. 13 with daily theatric performances kicking off at noon and continuing through 7:30 p.m.

The picturesque streets of Bethel Village in western Maine will come alive during the second week of August when the inaugural Maine Performing Arts Festival brings folklore, fanfare and families together. The festivities get underway on Wednesday, Aug. 9 and continue through Sunday, Aug. 13 with daily theatric performances kicking off at noon and continuing through 7:30 p.m.

“The Festival's setting in Bethel, Maine's prettiest mountain village, promises to be as memorable as the entertainment of street players and mainstage theatre actors. Encircled by dramatic mountain views, the Common and Main Street scattered with venues and Gould Academy's well-appointed Bingham Auditorium will provide a highly artistic environment,” said Harry ‘Dutch’ Dresser, president of the Maine Performing Arts Festival board of directors.

Twice daily throughout the Festival a ten-member troupe of high-energy, professional and aspiring actors will present light, comedic, family-oriented plays. The Servant of Two Masters, a classic Italian comedy by Carlo Goldoni features a frantic, slapstick paced performance. Telling Tall Tales, adapted by artistic director Andrew Harris, recounts two folk tales aimed at the young and the young at heart. Both shows will take place in Gould Academy’s Bingham Auditorium and tickets will be available in advance and on site.

“The festival and its light, funny focus will make The Arts accessible to everyone,” said Harris. “I’m really enjoying this opportunity to expand the reach of theatre to people who might not get the chance to enjoy it otherwise. The goal is to provide a theatre experience that will be enjoyed by all walks of life.”

Visitors strolling the Village streets will first encounter Hat Fair performers including but not limited to mimes, acrobats, musicians, dancers, jugglers and more showcasing their talents. The Bethel Village Common will be home to a late afternoon headlining act. Village and Common entertainment will be free, but performers will be accepting audience contributions.

Ticket prices for the scheduled evening theatre shows are $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 12 and under. Matinees are $15 for adults and $7 for children.

Additional Maine Performing Arts Festival information including schedules, performer listings and ticket pricing is available at http://www.mainepaf.org. As a non-profit event, the Maine Performing Arts Festival is being presented by Sunday River. Additional sponsors include the Mahoosuc Arts Council, Sudbury Inn, Gould Academy and the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce.

About Bethel:

The Village of Bethel, Maine is located just off US Route 2 near the Maine/New Hampshire border in a region where the Oxford Hills grow into the Mahoosuc Mountains. The Bethel area boasts two world-class golf courses, fishing, canoeing and kayaking in the Androscoggin River, plus endless outdoor opportunities in the surrounding mountains. Snowmobiling is popular in winter, and the snow-covered slopes of Sunday River attract skiers and snowboarders from around the world. More information on the Village of Bethel and regional offerings is available at http://www.bethelmaine.com.

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Alex Kaufman
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