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Bob Keyes

Bob Keyes has written about the arts in Maine since 2002. He’s never been much an artist himself, other than singing in junior high school chorus and acting in a few musicals. But he’s attended museums, theaters, clubs and concert halls all his life, and cites Bob Dylan as most influential artist of any kind since Picasso. He lives in Berwick.

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Posted: November 10, 2014

Snowlion’s “Moral & Political Lessons on ‘Wyoming'” draws on recent real-life censorship

Written by: Bob Keyes
 "The Panelists" - Jaimie P. Schwartz, Mark Rubin, Laura Graham. Craig Robinson photo

“The Panelists” – Jaimie P. Schwartz, Mark Rubin, Laura Graham. Craig Robinson photo

Funny how life imitates art, isn’t it?

Just as Snowlion Rep was prepping for the New England premiere of the social satire “Moral & Political Lessons on ‘Wyoming’ ” by New York playwright Vincent Sessa, the school board in Maiden, North Carolina, canceled a performance of “Almost, Maine” by Maine playwright John Cariani.

They said a scene in Cariani’s play where two men discover their love for each other was too suggestive.

“Wyoming” is about censorship, the quashing of free expression and the uplifting nature of the arts. It is set at a time when theater itself faces the judgment of a conservative society.

It opens Friday and runs through Nov. 23 at the Portland Stage Studio Theater.

Cariani’s play provides a real-time example of the drama on stage, Snowlion’s producing director Margit Ahlin said.

“That’s our play right there,” she said, citing headlines from North Carolina.

“Wyoming” has been banned because it has a homosexual relationship in it. A committee gathers to celebrate the death of theater and its depravity and immorality.

It has a cast of seven: Laura Graham, Jaimie P. Schwartz, Mark Rubin, Bob Pettee, Ellen Elizabeth White, Samuel Carlson and Andre T. Demers.

Snowlion co-founder Al D’Andrea directs.

The playwright will attend the final performance on Nov. 23, and address the audience after the show.

“Moral & Political Lessons on ‘Wyoming’ “

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21-22; 2 p.m. Nov. 23
WHERE: Portland Stage Studio Theater, 25A Forest Ave.
TICKETS & INFO: $17, 207-518-9305, snowlionrep.org

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