In 1990, a group of idealistic theater majors arrived in a sleepy fishing village with one lofty goal: to create theater that could sustain itself in a rural, economically disadvantaged, and socially divided community. This is the story of Eastport, Maine, Cornerstone Theater Company, and the decades that followed.
Setting the Stage is a four-part narrative podcast telling the true story of the Stage East theater in Eastport, Maine. You can read the Eastport Arts Center’s feature on the podcast here. The show is produced and narrated by Quinn Rose and features interviews with members of the Eastport community and Cornerstone Theater Company. Transcripts of each episode are available on this website. The show art was designed by Allison Truj. The show music is “Fireflies and Stardust” by Kevin MacLeod. You can subscribe to the show in your favorite app here.
Trailer: Eastport, Maine
This is a story about Eastport, Maine, and the Cornerstone Theater Company. It’s also a story about theater, art, community, and rural America. Listen to the episode below or read the transcript here.
1: On the Edge of the Earth
Eastport, Maine is on the edge of the earth. This episode explores the history of this city and the beginning of organized arts in the community. Listen to episode below or read the transcript here.
2: In the Bars and the Churches
The tagline for Cornerstone Theater’s Eastport residency is that they bridged the neighboring communities of Eastport and Pleasant Point with their production. In this episode, we dive into the history of this Passamaquoddy reservation and what happened when Cornerstone arrived in town. Listen to the episode below or read the transcript here.
3: Theater in a Place Like This
When you’re trying to put on a five-act play from 1867 in a tiny island town that’s never had a full theater program before, what does it mean to succeed? Is getting up the show enough? Or is it about the deeper goals: connecting with a community, bringing different people together, or creating sustainable art? Listen to the episode below or read the transcript here.
4: The Arts are Basic to Life
What happened to Stage East after Pier Gynt? In the conclusion to Setting the Stage, we dive into the arc of the last three decades of art and theater in Eastport. Listen to the episode below or read the transcript here.