Portland Stage will host a reading of the play “Wit & Wisdom” on Monday night, with performances by some of Maine’s best known actors and writers. Among those reading the play will be writer Monica Wood, playwright Callie Kimball and actors Maureen Butler, Moira Driscoll, Andrew Harris, Abigail Killeen and Daniel Noel.
“Wit & Wisdom” deals with the outrage and amazement of aging and involves a series of excerpts from writings by Thomas Carlyle, Langston Hughes, William Carlos Williams, Bertrand Russell, Dorothy Parker and Tennessee Williams, among others.
The reading coincides with the mainstage production of “Complications from a Fall,” a drama about the memories we keep and those we forget.
“This is part of Portland Stage’s efforts to engage our audiences more deeply with the themes and issues in some of our plays,” said the theater’s marketing director, Eileen Phelan, who is directing “Wit & Wisdom.”
Phelan was involved with the New York production of “Wit & Wisdom” and suggested it to the theater’s artistic and executive director Anita Stewart. “I knew it would be a great fit to produce as staged reading in conjunction with ‘Complications,'” she said.
It was compiled by the writers Vivian Gornick and Nora Eisenberg. Gornick will travel from New York to attend the reading on Monday night.
“Wit & Wisdom,” 7 p.m. Monday, Portland Stage, 25A Forest Ave. $10 in advance, $15 at the door; portlandstage.org, 774-0465.
GOOD THEATER CONTINUES its 16th season with “An Inspector Calls,” a celebrated play in the history of theater, now up through Nov. 26 at the St. Lawrence Arts Center, 76 Congress St., Portland.
It is set in 1912 in the home of a wealthy English family that is celebrating the engagement of a daughter. The celebration goes south when the police arrive to investigate a death.
It stars Thomas Ian Campbell, James Noel Hoban, Christopher Holt, Heather Elizabeth Irish, Meredith Lamothe, Tony Reilly and Amy Roche. Brian P. Allen, Good Theater’s executive and artistic director and show director, calls it “a ‘Downton Abbey’ whodunnit” that breaks down the barriers of class, money and politics while reminding the audience of the importance of treating people well.
It premiered in the Soviet Union in 1945, opened in London in 1946 and on Broadway in 1947. It has been produced for TV, made into a movie and undergone several revivals. Its staying power has been attributed to its critique of the upper class.
“An Inspector Calls,” through Nov. 26, St. Lawrence Arts Center, 76 Congress St., Portland. 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 7:30 p.m. Friday, 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, $25 to $32. goodtheater.com, 835-0895.