Opening July 19th is the capstone of Heartwood’s 10th Anniversary Season.  “The Legend of Jim Cullen,” simply put, is rich.   Teeming with music, story-telling, technical treats and even ballet, performed by a talented cast and musicians from around the country, audiences will discover a vivid example of the original, innovative and collaborative work for which this company is becoming known.
A Preview.  Decide for yourself, with a sneak preview at Heartwood’s website:  A Cole Christine video promo, a slide show overview, the written plotline (yes, it would be helpful to read this in advance) and a musical rehearsal sample are available on this site.
The Story.  Mapleton, Northern Maine, 1873.   A virtual melting pot of people and cultures – population 300.   The Grange exists, as do the Masons, but no churches, yet, and not much law.  A pair of boots are stolen from the local store by a giant of a man from Peel, New Brunswick.  A double axe murder of the Presque Isle Sheriff and his Deputy ensues (along with the burning of their bodies), and finally, a mob performs a lynching – the only recorded hanging without fair trial to occur in New England History.
The Music.  The tale is woven together with 18 musical numbers, from Canadian and Eastern folk music, to edgy new folk sounds, male acapella, an Irish jig, art songs and choral pieces developed and scored by Griff Braley and Corey Redonnett, with some arrangements by Aaron Robinson.
Essential Questions.  As legends so often do, this one offers a line of truth and universal lessons.  In the talented, experienced hands of the narrator, Texas based equity actor and teacher David Connelly, questions begging answers are examined.  Sociological, psychological, and spiritual questions surrounding this event, an event which occurred in a small town comprised largely of good, hard working, well meaning families. 
The Price.  The bold choice to create original theater is a distinguishing characteristic of Heartwood, and it comes at a substantial cost.   Individual donations help make this possible.  To support or learn more about the Jim Cullen    Project, visit Heartwood's Rockethub fundraising portal.   Google “Rockethub” and search “Heartwood.” 
Sponsors. “The Legend of Jim Cullen” is funded in part by a grant from the Maine Community Foundation, along with sponsorships from Heartwood Season Sponsor Bath Savings Institution and Show Sponsors  First Advisors and the Newcastle Publick House.

Performances: in the Parker B. Poe Theater at Lincoln Academy in Newcastle, on July 19 & 20, 26 & 27, Aug 1-3 at 7:30pm.  One matinee performance (filling up quickly) will be offered on Sunday, July 28th at 3pm.  Tickets are $20 adults / $12 students.  Reservations strongly recommended at OR 207.563.1373.   General info at

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