“I had to write to tell you how fabulous Iman’s show is.”
“I am thrilled that we have had the opportunity to work together on
this project. You brought great creativity and insight to the plays
and were a real team player. Thanks for your outstanding work.”
Star Sisters, written in collaboration with actor-puppeteers Faye Dupras and Penny Benson, includes a live musical score by Dave Noyes. Visualizing a native Northwest Canadian creation myth of the Tagish Peoples, Star Sisters explores themes of becoming an adult, leaving home and ultimately facing the responsibilities of family, all while spinning a charming yarn about the birth of the Northern Lights.
Written by feminist playwright Carolyn Gage, The Goddess Tour premiered at the 2009 Maine New Play Festival in Portland. The plot follows six american spiritual travelers on a trip to a remote inn in Northern Ireland to view ancient Celtic goddess sites. An homage to Agatha Christie, the mystery inevitably unlocks intersecting gridlines of relationships between mothers and daughters. The show’s success at the St. Lawrence Arts & Community Center prompted an extended run.
As Guest Artist at the University of Maine School of Performing Arts, Ms. Goell directed Molière’s Scapin to rave reviews. In this tour de force production, Ms. Goell also created, arranged and directed an original score for live stage band. In collaboration with a student dramaturg, she also created a study guide for area high school teachers. A paean to love’s follies and clever stratagems, Scapin is the clever servant who dishes up what all cruel masters deserve: a dose of the other end of the stick!
By The Willow was developed and directed by Julie Goell with pupeteers Andi Rubenstein (Brazil) and Faye Dupras (Canada) and composer Yann-Gaël Poncet (France). It recasts a Romanian folk tale about a woman’s obsession with the “family tree” planted by her father. In this unusual staging, the line between puppet and puppeteer is blurred as scale telescopes in and out, and a magnificent tree becomes the pivotal point around which a tale of generations revolves. Exciting visuals, vibrant puppetry, clowning, and compelling live music are woven together in this family entertainment for all ages.
Maine Short Play Festival: Ms. Goell directs four of twelve juried offerings for the 2008 Maine Short Play Festival, showcasing new and seasoned voices among Maine’s best playwrights. “Portrait of A Vampire as A Young Man” (pictured, right) by John Manderino features a troubled youth obsessed with the taste of blood. In “Fish Tank, Fish Poem” by veteran playwright Richard Sewell, a mother and son roil and spar in their small trailer, paralleled by their two pet fish in a rarely cleaned bowl. Cathy Plourd’s “The Deckhand” is a coming-of-age story of an adolescent girl summering in Maine and “Bailey’s Mistake,” by poet Gerald George, inspired by Japanese Noh Theater, is based on a Maine legend about the ghost of a sea captain with unfinished business on Earth.
The Fantastiks was Ms. Goell’s third teaching/directing project at Colby College. Making use of students’ training in Commedia dell’arte as well as a semester of Musical Theater, the production paid homage to to the spirit of Commedia which Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt claim was their inspiration for the show, with its tressle staging concept and stock characters.
Maine Opera Atelier joined with Deering and Portland High Schools’ Orchestra and Chorus for an original adaptation of the opera Orpheus and Eurydice by Gluck. Newly translated, retitled, and recast for three opera singers, three actors, three dancers, orchestra and chorus, with supertitles, this was truly a community project with the objective of introducing high school students to opera. Students’ reacted with a resounding “We’re hooked!”
Commedia della Basque was directed by Julie Goell and developed in collaboration with award-winning Basque juggler Iman Lizarazu. It is a poetic tale about a clown at war with sleep. In the effort to fall asleep this Pierrot conceives unlikely strategies to exhaust herself. What ensues is a wild series of bed-time tasks from juggling pillow feathers to a Flamenco ballet with seven rings, a pirate tale atop a rola bola and a tango with Max, the clothes valet. “Commedia della Basque” has brought audiences to their feet from California to Maine to Marakesh.
Servant of Two Masters was the second of three main stage productions directed by Ms. Goell at Colby College as Irving Suss Guest Artist. The first, “The Venetian Twins” by Carlo Goldoni, was selected to appear at the American College Theater Festival. Also by Goldoni and written after the Commedia style, “Servant” portrays the wily ruses of Truffaldino in his self-serving effort to reunite girl with boy. Students had a semester of Commedia training with Ms. Goell to prepare for each of these plays which also featured live scores created by Ms. Goell.