Old News Archive

Milo man directed Center Theatre’s production of Godspell

October 14, 2010 - TRC

In September Frank Applebee directed "Godspell" at Center Theatre in Dover-Foxcroft. He is also one of the Slightly Off-Center Players who perform at the theater.
Milo resident Frank Applebee has been involved in theater for most of his life, but being part of the Center Theatre and the Slightly Off-Center Players is a relatively new experience. Applebee’s early theatrical experiences were at Stearns High School in Millinocket his hometown, but when he went to college in Orono it became the primary focus of his life, leading to a Bachelors’ of Arts in Theatre in 1995.

After college, Mr. Applebee worked in many theaters around Maine and New York City, returning to Milo in 2009 where he saw an audition notice for the Center Theatre’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors.” Patrick Myers, Executive Director for the Center Theatre, remembers when Frank came in for his audition, “We had talked about needing someone to play the role of Mr. Mushnik. So when Frank walked in the door, I was pretty excited. I had seen Frank in productions in Orono and didn’t know he was in the area.”

After “Little Shop” Applebee continued his involvement with the Center Theatre playing the role of the criminologist in the Halloween presentation of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” The following spring found him in the role of Dr. Chasuble in “The Importance of Being Earnest,” a role he previously performed at the University of Maine.

Following Earnest, Applebee saw that the Theatre was looking for interested directors to direct their fall production of “Godspell.” “I had directed several other shows in the past; and now that I had some experience with the great actors in the Slightly Off-Center Players, I thought directing them would be fun. I was thrilled when they gave me the opportunity and the responsibility for this great show.”

“Godspell,” which opened at the Center Theatre on Friday, Sept. 24, is a rock opera based on the Gospel of St. Mathew. The musical was originally written in the late 60’s and early 70’s and uses music reminiscent of traditional hymns with modern lyrics and styles. One of the songs from the original cast album “Day by Day” reached No. 13 on Billboard’s pop singles chart in 1972.

“This musical leaves a lot of room for creativity and interpretation for the cast and director,” said Applebee. “In this production by the Slightly Off-Center Players, we’re focusing on the message of building and strengthening community during the trial, tribulations and disasters we all cope with in life. What is it that brings people together and keeps them together during a crisis? This is a question that has great importance in our own community during the current economic crisis and around the world. One of the great strengths in our area is the sense of community, but it is something that is very hard to define. This play can give us a way to look at our own community and ask how we can make it stronger for the future.”

We can look forward to more news about Mr. Applebee in the future.

Meanwhile this is a good time to remind folks that tickets for Center Theatre performances are on sale at the Center Theatre box office, located at 20 East Main Street in Dover-Foxcroft. They can also be purchased by calling the Theatre at 564-8943 or on the Theatre’s website www.CenterTheatre.org.

Upcoming events at the Center Theatre include “Audio Body” on Saturday, Oct. 16 and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” which will be performed on Oct. 29-30.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.