One Act 2017 - 'The Insanity of Mary Girard' by Lanie Robertson

Class B Champion • 2017 Maine State Drama Festival
Total score: 269/300

Special Commendations:
  • Original Musical Composition: Alec Fisichella
  • Excellence in Lighting Design: Christina Closson
  • Excellence in Scenic Design: Max Cornman and Maev Rogers
  • "Tranquilizing Chair" Design: Max Cornman
  • Excellence in Ensemble Work - "The Furies": Sammie Park, Sarah Soucek, Thistle Swann, Ethan Leonard and Desmond Reifsnyder

All-Festival Cast Member: 
  • Mary Paola

Class B Champion • 2017 Eastern Regional of the Maine Drama Festival
Total score:

Special Commendations
  • Acting Ensemble Award for "The Furies": Sammie Park, Sarah Soucek, Thistle Swann, Ethan Leonard and Desmond Reifsnyder
  • Overall Design Excellence in Set, Light, Sound and Makeup Design - Max Cornman, Christina Closson, Alec Fisichella, Ben Hagle, Mary Paola and Jacob Sanner 
  • Outstanding Video Design - Rosie Avila, Piper Charron and Mason Gurtler

All Festival Cast Members:

  • Mary Paola
  • Desmond Reifsnyder

Individual regional judge’s scores and comments:

Tom Misner, former CEO of the Waterville Opera House (99/100): “Diction was perfect - fast - crazy - maniacal.” “Outstanding interpretation!” “Your portrayal of insane people was perfect.”“Wow! Got my first ‘wow’ of the night.” “Lighting was excellent.” “Mary's (Mary Paola) anger/acceptance was perfect . . . her interaction with Stephen (Emerson Jeffrey) was excellent.”

Dawn McAndrews, Producing Artistic Director, Theater at Monmouth (100/100): “I was overwhelmed by the polish and professionalism of the designs and acting company.” “I really cannot believe that this was a student playing the role of Mary.” “The entire company used their bodies fully and expressively throughout.” “The transition from Fury to memory characters was beautifully handled.” “The commitment of all actors was stunning. The cast worked beautifully and subtly together” “All design elements and production choices thoughtfully and gorgeously supported the style, and needs of the play. The play was presented both simply and deftly creating a compelling mood and concept.” “The blocking (actor movement) felt both natural and extremely organic.” “A really interesting set design allowed the Furies to be present and intrusive, malevolent and unreal.” “The musical score was outstanding and helped maintain tension.”

Amy Roeder, Director of Education, Penobscot Theater (100/100): “The Furies were a group, but the individual differences from Fury to Fury were so gorgeous. Little moments made a huge impact.” “So many lovely choices on the micro and macro level.” “There was beautiful vocal clarity, variety and emotion expressed throughout.” “Characterization was so very well done.”  “Perfect pacing. A beautiful understanding of the script.” “All tech elements were ingenious and lovely. Visual storytelling was on point.” “The set evoked an asylum without resorting to cliche.” “I wish I could give you more than a 5 (out of 5) on sound design.”



Mary Girard

Mary Paola

Fury #1/Warder

Ethan Leonard

Fury #2/Mrs. Lum

Sammie Park

Fury #3/Polly Kenton

Thistle Swann

Fury #4/Mr. Phillips

Desmond Reifsnyder

Fury #5/Mrs. Hatcher

Sarah Soucek

Steven Girard

Emerson Jeffery

Production Staff and Crew


Casey Rush*

Technical Director for Lighting and Sound

Grey Burkart*

Technical Director for Scenic Design

Carlene Hirsch*

Costume Design and Construction

Stage Manager

Marilee Marchese*

Julia Rush

Lighting Design

Christina Closson

Lighting Operator

Christina Closson

Lighting Crew

Eric Graves, Atty Brown, Aidan O’Connor, Mason Gurtler and Piper Charron

Video Design

Piper Charron, Rosie Avila 

and Mason Gurtler

Video Operator

Piper Charron

Sound Design

Ben Hagle, Jacob Sanner 

and Alec Fisichella

Composer, “Steven’s Theme” 

Alec Fisichella

Sound Operators

Max Cornman and Ben Hagle

Scenic Design

Max Cornman and Maev Rogers

“Tranquilizing Chair” Design 

Max Cornman

Construction Crew

Max Cornman, Rosie Avila, Brianna Kerr, Maev Rogers, Anna Rogers, South Graves, Chelsea Thomas*

Makeup and Hair Design Mary Paola

The ​Tranquilizing C​hair​, invented by Dr. Benjamin Rush,​ ​is "a device used for 'excitable patients'​ who were insane or believed to be . . . with leather straps to bind the arms and legs of the person sitting in it" and 
". . . a square wooden box that fits over the head." -- Lanie Robertson

"Mary's Theme" is based on Frederic Chopin's Mazurka in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 63, No. 3. This work is in the public domain.

Synopsis: "In 1790, Mary Girard is committed to an asylum. After Mary became pregnant by another man, her husband had her declared legally insane. Now, Mary sits in a chair as the "furies" dance around and impersonate people from her past. By the end of this haunting and highly theatrical piece, she has grown rather convincingly into her diagnosis."

The Insanity of Mary Girard was first produced at The Painted Bride Art Center by Theatre Center Philadelphia on July 4, 1976.

"Mary and the Furies" by Chris Dougherty

"Mary and Stephen" by Chris Dougherty

Photo - Chris Dougherty

The cast and crew of MDI Drama's The Insanity of Mary Girard, the 2017 Downeast Regional Drama Festival Class B One Act Champion.

Photo - Chris Dougherty

The cast and crew of MDI Drama's The Insanity of Mary Girard, the 2017 Maine State Drama Festival Class B One Act Champion at Yarmouth High School.

The cast, crew and staff of MDI Drama's The Insanity of Mary Girard, the 2017 Maine Class B Drama Festival State Champions at the "Big Friendly Indian" in Freeport, Maine. (Photo by Chris Dougherty) 
Mazurka loop - 3x.mp3
Casey Rush,
Mar 13, 2017, 4:04 AM