Program and Production History

MDI Drama Production History
I started this project in 2012 after speaking with several very active MDI Drama students. None of them had any idea about the early history of the drama program at our school; in fact, few of them could even name the productions that had immediately preceded their involvement. Mount Desert Island High School boasts a deep and rich theatrical tradition, and for it, in the eyes of 
our current thespians, to fade into obscurity, to simply become so much stuff that happened a long time before they were involved in the program –- or even born –- is a shame.

My ultimate goal is to create a webpage for each production that features cast and crew info, the original program (if available) and production photos. Please send additional production information, competition results, programs (.pdf), photos (.jpg, .gif, etc.) and/or updates and corrections to director@mdidrama.org. The more specific the information provided, especially with production/performance photos, the better.  

Much of the information about the early years of the drama program is derived from a review of the (mostly complete) collection of MDIHS yearbooks housed in the school's library. Often, however, it is unclear which non-musical shows were presented as one act competition or full length productions. In addition to this, the yearbooks don't seem to specify the titles of or include details about all MDIHS productions that may have occurred in a given year. Some editions only provide a collage or two of production/performance photos and no accompanying show information at all. For the sake of consistency, if only one non-musical production is named in the yearbook I have recorded it, perhaps inaccurately, as the competition one act. Also, it is not always clear who was the director of productions from the George Demas/Joyce Higgins years. In all instances in which there is no clear contradictory information available I have drawn the conclusion that George Demas served as director.

In addition to these difficulties, the program's numerous state championship plaques are nowhere to be found on our campus, nor were they around when I arrived in August of 1998. We do have many of the regional trophies, but not all. Sadly, the Maine Drama Council has very little information available regarding past champions or participants in the New England Drama Festival, so that is not a deep source of information that I may utilize. My best resource is the collective memory and collected memorabilia of the countless actors, techs and staff members who have participated in the program over the past (nearly) fifty years. 

I would like to wish a special thanks to the following MDIHS and/or MDI Drama alumni and staff for their input and ongoing assistance with this effort: 

Frank Bachman, Burt Barker, Melissa King Burkart, Brooke Richardson Cahilly, Laurie Carpenter, Ryan Corliss, Chrystine Weymouth Emeigh, Diana Faust, Charlene Garrison, Nancy E. Graves, Kate Good-Smith, Matt Hochman, Tammie Butler Hooper, Emily Johnson, Joe Lewis, Robin MacDuffie, Richard E. MacPike, Peter Miller, Joe Marshall, Rob Marshall, Susan Taylor, Anna Smith, Mark Smith, Michelle Solomon, Dan Stillman, Larry Sweet, Jennifer Knudsen Tully, Sheila Wilensky and Sam Worden. 

Please feel free to contact me at my email (linked below) or through our Facebook program pages.

Thank you,

Casey Rush, MDI Drama Director 




The MDI Drama State Championship banner displayed on the front of the tech booth in the Higgins-Demas Theater, June 2017.

____________________


MDI Drama State One Act Champions1

1969  1971  1972  1974  1977  1978  1983  1996  2017 

MDI Drama Regional One Act Champions/Finalists2

 1969  1970  1971  1972  1973  1974  1976  1977  1978  1979  1981  1982  1983  1984  
1988  1994  1995  1996  1997  2000  2006  2010  2011  2013  2014  2015  2016  2017 


____________________

Season

Musical Play(s) & Director(s)

One Act Play & Director(s)


Non-Musical Play(s) & Director(s)

Season 1:

1968-69
–– Of Mice and Men **** -
George Demas
  Rebel Without a Cause† - George Demas (w/Arthur Lawrence and Joyce Higgins)
 Season 2:

1969-70
My Fair Lady - George Demas  Cock-a-Doodle-Dandy ** - George Demas   Dark of the Moon - Arthur Lawrence; The Ugly Duckling - Arthur Lawrence; The Miracle Worker - Joyce Higgins
Season 3:

1970-71
Man of LaMancha - George Demas  Becket (Act I) **** -
George Demas
  Oedipus Rex - Arthur Lawrence
Season 4:

1971-72
Lil' Abner - George Demas  The Lark **** - George Demas      A Tale of Chelm - Arthur Lawrence
Season 5:

1972-73
Camelot - George Demas  Inherit the Wind ** - George Demas  
Alice in Wonderland - Robin Marshall
Season 6:

1973-74
The Fantasticks - George Demas Electra **** - George Demas

  Blithe Spirit - Robin Marshall; The Cave Dwellers - Robin Marshall 
Season 7:

1974-75
Godspell - George Demas The Eternal Smile ** - George Demas

 
The Beaux Stratagem - Robin Marshall; The Insect Comedy - Robin Marshall; The Mild Bunch, The Trojan WomenChalk and Slate (theater classes)

Season 8:

1975-76
Chautauqua '76 - George Demas  Faust ** 3 - George Demas 

NOTE: According to Maine Drama Council records, MDI Drama did NOT win a state championship in 1976.


Song of the Scaffold - Robin Marshall; The Tempest (theater class); The Chalk Garden - Joyce Higgins

Season 9:

1976-77
The Canterbury Tales - George Demas  Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad **** - George Demas

  David and Lisa - Robin Marshall; American Graffiti (theater class) - George Demas

Season 10:

1977-78
Princess Bonnie - Joyce Higgins The Young Peer
(
an adaptation of Peer Gynt)
**** - George Demas

The Mousetrap - Robin Marshall
Season 11:

1978-79
The Wiz - George Demas and Joyce Higgins Lysistrata ** - Joyce Higgins and George Demas   The Pilgrim and the Prince (a collaboration of the College of the Atlantic and MDI Drama) - Charlotte Bonica
Season 12:

1979-80
West Side Story - George Demas and Joyce Higgins

The Mischievous Machinations of Scapin ** - Joyce Higgins and George Demas   Merry Wives of Windsor - Joyce Higgins
Season 13:

1980-81
Fiddler on the Roof - George Demas Escurial ** -- George Demas   The Skin of Our Teeth - Joyce Higgins
Season 14:

1981-82
Hello Dolly - George Demas  One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest ** - George Demas   ??
Season 15:

1982-83
Pippin - George Demas  Medea **** - Joyce Higgins and George Demas

  A Midsummer Night's Dream - Joyce Higgins
Season 16:

1983-84
Barnum - George Demas  Not Necessarily the Iliad ** - Joyce Higgins and George Demas     The Adventures of Joseph Andrews - Joyce Higgins 
Season 17:
1984-85
The Pirates of Penzance - George Demas King Lear - Joyce Higgins and George Demas
  The Taming of the Shrew - Joyce Higgins
Season 18:

1985-86
 Funny Girl - George Demas
Fame ** 3 - Joyce Higgins and George Demas   Fame - Joyce Higgins
Season 19:

1986-87
The Sound of Music - George Demas  Volpone Joyce Higgins and George Demas    The Hobbit - Joyce Higgins
Season 20:

1987-88
Annie - George Demas J.B. ** Joyce Higgins and George Demas  
The Comedy of Errors - Joyce Higgins
Season 21:

1988-89
The Music Man - Joyce Higgins Blood Wedding - Joyce Higgins   ??
Season 22:

1989-90
Oliver - Joyce Higgins  The Clouds - Joyce Higgins   ??
Season 23:

1990-91

–– §


 
A Man's a Man - Rob Jordan     Tales of Trickery - Rob Jordan
Season 24:

1991-92
Guys and Dolls - Rob Jordan   No Fading Star - Jolene Gillander
   Try to Remember 5 - Suzie Homer
Season 25:

1992-93
Jesus Christ Superstar - Dana Daniels-Lazareth The Other Son - Jackie Bachman   ??
Season 26:

1993-94
Gypsy - Mark Puglisi Fools ** - Jackie Bachman and Frank Bachman   ??
Season 27:

1994-95
Into the Woods - Dan Mills 
Othello ** - Dan Mills
Plaza Suite - theatre class w/ Dan Mills
Season 28:

1995-96
West Side Story - Dan Mills

Scapino! **** - Dan Mills
Three Tall Women - Dan Mills;  You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown - Dan Mills
Season 29:

1996-97
42nd Street - Dan Mills

Trouble *** 6 - Dan Mills
The Fantasticks - Dan Mills; The Good Doctor - theatre class students w/ Dan Mills  
Season 30:

1997-98
Tommy - Dan Mills Junk Shop Jazz - Dan Mills 
 Lend Me a Tenor - Alan Gallant; The Capricious Pearls - ??? (freshman play); Giants Have Us in Their Books - Kathleen Lake

Season 31:

1998-99

Evita - Frank Bachman

Suddenly Last Summer * - Kathleen Lake


Stage Door - Frank Bachman (freshman play); Passion of Dracula - Alan Gallant; Baby with the Bathwater - Kathleen Lake

Season 32:

1999-00

On the Town - Frank Bachman

April Fish * - Mark Puglisi


Jessye's Journey (ballet) - Don Grieco Choices and GlimpsesJoshu Weiss and Carrie Beals w/ Casey Rush (freshman play); Dark of the Moon - Casey Rush

Season 33:

2000-01

Pippin - Frank Bachman

Final Dress Rehearsal - Mark Puglisi


Three Russian Fairy Tales - Carrie Beals, Emily Wright and Joanna Walls w/ Casey Rush (freshman play); A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Casey Rush

Season 34:

2001-02

The Mystery of Edwin Drood - Frank Bachman

Assembly Line ** - Mark Puglisi


The Street of Good Friends - Joanna Walls and The Actor’s Nightmare - Missy King Burkart w/ Casey Rush (freshman plays); Our Town - Casey Rush

Season 35:

2002-03

The Wiz - Frank Bachman

The Inspector General * - Casey Rush


Fools - Andy Stocking and ??? w/ Frank Bachman (frosh play); While Shakespeare Slept - students (freshman plays); The Man Who Came to Dinner - Mark Puglisi

Season 36:

2003-04

The Pajama Game - Frank Bachman

The Tempest - Casey Rush


Nothing But the Truth - Enrica Maffucci and Emily Doherty w/ Frank Bachman (freshman play); The Mouse That Roared - Mark Puglisi

Season 37:

2004-05

Seussical the Musical - Mark Puglisi

Il Dentista * Casey Rush


The Birds - Jen Shepard

Season 38:

2005-06

The Long Way Home - Frank Bachman

Pie in the Sky ** - Mark Puglisi


Death - Jen Shepard; The Glass Menagerie - Casey Rush

Season 39:

2006-07

Funny Girl - Mark Puglisi

The Lottery * - Frank Bachman


Steel Magnolias - Elizabeth Rabasca

Season 40:

2007-08

Oklahoma! - Casey Rush

Best Intentions * - Mark Puglisi


The Real Inspector Hound - Chris Dougherty; Sorry, Wrong Number - Frank Bachman

Season 41:

2008-09

Little Shop of Horrors - Frank Bachman

Reunion - Mark Puglisi


Talk Radio - Casey Rush; Five Plays by Wendy Wasserstein - Chris Dougherty

Season 42:

2009-10

Thoroughly Modern Millie - Chris Dougherty

Sganarelle, or The Imaginary Cuckold ** - Casey Rush


The Odd Couple (Female Version) - Frank Bachman; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest - Mark Puglisi

Season 43:

2010-11

Once Upon a Mattress - Chris Dougherty

Children of Drancy ** - Casey Rush


Almost, Maine - Mark Puglisi; Crimes of the Heart - Frank Bachman

Season 44:

2011-12

Cats - Frank Bachman

The Rimers of Eldritch - Casey Rush


Appointment with Death - Chris Dougherty; Barefoot in the Park - Frank Bachman

Season 45:

2012-13
The Pirates of Penzance - Frank Bachman
Interview: A Fugue for Eight Actors **- Casey Rush
  Wit - Chris Dougherty;  Arsenic and Old Lace - Frank Bachman
Season 46:

2013-14
The Wiz - Frank Bachman    Twelve Angry People - Chris Dougherty; Lend Me a Tenor - Frank Bachman
Season 47:

2014-15
 Tintypes - Frank Bachman  The Dancers ** - Casey Rush   Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean - Frank Bachman; The Mousetrap - Chris Dougherty 
Season 48:

2015-16
Chess - Frank Bachman  The Other Shore ** - Casey Rush    The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) - Chris DoughertyTwo - Frank Bachman
 
 
Season 49:

2016-17 
Tarzan - Frank Bachman  The Insanity of Mary Girard **** - Casey Rush    Eurydice - Frank Bachman; 
Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery - Chris Dougherty 

Season 50:
 
2017-18 
Into the Woods - Frank Bachman  Jack, or The Submission  (license pending) - Casey Rush    TBD - Frank Bachman; 
Chris Dougherty 


____________________


* Regional One Act Runner-up    ** Regional One Act Champion    *** State One Act Runner-up    **** State One Act Champion


NOTES:

The first dramatic production at MDIHS, performed in January 1969 

§ No musical produced due to the death of Joyce Higgins

1 Received information of 1983 state championship in June, 2017; no record of this previously existed in MDI        Drama archives. According to recently discovered records shared by the Maine Drama Council and New              England Drama Council programs, MDI Drama did not win the State Drama Festival in 1976 as previously            recorded. 

2 The terms "champion" and "finalist" seem to have been used interchangeably over the years

3 Hosted State Drama Festival

4 Hosted New England Drama Festival

5 Dedication of the MDIHS theater facility to George Demas and Joyce Higgins

Participated in the New England Drama Festival as State Festival runner-up




Season with incomplete listings: 

1980-1981, 1981-1982, 1985-1986, 1988-1989, 1989-1990, 1992-1993, 1993-1994

____________________


 









MDI Drama director Casey Rush presents MDI Drama co-founder George Demas with a section of the original curtain from the Higgins-Demas Theater stage at the 2016 Bravo Awards 

(Photo by Chris Dougherty).



Updated: 12 September 2017

Ċ
Casey Rush,
Sep 29, 2013, 11:30 AM
Ċ
Casey Rush,
Sep 12, 2017, 7:40 AM