The Monmouth Theater is planning to present the Maine premiere of Tira Palmquist’s “Age of Bees,” a strangely premonitory drama written in 2008 about a global pandemic and its impact on people, the planet and, most importantly, bees.
The play begins at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday July 22, other performances are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. on July 23, 31, August 4, 10, 14, 15 and 19; and at 1 p.m. on August 18.
Mel finds refuge on a remote farm, tending to the last orchards of apple blossoms as the main pollinator. Enter Jonathan, an independent field researcher who collects plant samples to start from scratch. Mel sees a possibility and a purpose in Jonathan, and in Mel, Jonathan discovers a secret that could save the world.
Palmquist’s coming of age drama imagines a world where environmental catastrophe and a rapidly spreading plague has shrunk civilization and decimated hope. Yet a group of orphaned and abandoned girls find refuge and possibility in the rebirth of an apple orchard. The key to saving humanity is just a drop of blood.
Director Eddie DeHais asks, “What are we doing in the wake of a global pandemic? It’s not just a question we’re all wrestling with right now, but a question that’s alive in Tira Palmquist’s Age of Bees. A global pandemic has devastated the human race and ten years later there are only small pockets of barely scratching survivors. In an apple orchard in Ohio, we meet two young women, Mel and Deborah, struggling with the painful transition from childhood to adulthood as all the rules have changed. Age of Bees shows us a world that has coiled up much further than ours, and provides a blueprint not only for surviving, but also for finding hope to rebuild.
Playwright Tira Palmquist is known for her plays that merge the personal, the political and the poetic. His most-produced play, Two Degrees, premiered at the Denver Center, and was subsequently produced by Tesseract Theater in St. Louis and Prime Productions in Guthrie (among others). His play The Way North was a finalist for the O’Neill, an honorable mention for the 2019 Kilroy’s List, and was presented at the Ashland New Plays Festival 2019.
Age of Bees features Charence Higgins as Sarah, Amber McNew as Mel, Michael Rosas as Jonathan and Tori Thompson as Deborah. Directed by Eddie DeHais; Set Design by German Cardenas-Alaminos, Costume Design by Elizabeth Rocha, Lighting Design by SeifAllah Salotto-Cristobal, Properties and Stage Art by Emma Kielty, Directed by Kailey Pelletier and Sound Design by Rew Tippin.
Post-show discussions will be pre-recorded and the public will be able to stream content before or after the selected dates. Discussions with the cast and the creative team will cover critical historical, artistic and cultural perspectives of the worlds of each individual piece.
Tickets cost $ 36 for adults, $ 31 for seniors, and $ 22 for students (18 and under). Tickets for the family show cost $ 17 for adults and $ 12 for children.
For reservations or more information call the TAM Box Office at 207-933-9999 or visit theatreatmonmouth.org.