PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Ever since Darci Faye was a little girl, she’s dreamed of becoming a playwright. Now that dream is happening in a very big way as the University of Maine at Presque Isle student prepares to see a show she wrote performed live on stage in New York City. This June and July, Faye’s play “Infinitely Yours” will get five performances at the Paradise Factory Theatre as part of the Planet Connections Theatre Festival.
Faye, a senior criminal justice major and Caribou native, was thrilled when she learned this spring that Planet Connections had accepted her play into its summer lineup. “Infinitely Yours” is a drama that centers on domestic violence. It follows main characters Emily and Jason as they meet for the first time since a high school romance gone very sour. The play examines the ripples and waves one fateful meeting can have in a person’s life.
Five years ago, the play was just an idea. Faye said she had two characters in her head that wouldn’t stop bugging her, and around them formed the world of her story. Last October, she self-produced her finished play — complete with four professional actors from New York City — at UMPI in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, with proceeds benefiting the local Hope and Justice Project. She said she’s glad to have the play serve as a catalyst “to start that much-needed conversation about domestic violence.”
“This is a social issue that affects so many people,” Faye said. “It’s important to remember that the abuser isn’t some monster that lives in a closet, it could be someone we talk to every day. Subtle signs of abuse, lack of awareness, victim blaming — all of this made me want to write about this issue, and, for this play in particular, I wanted to humanize the abuser and show how incredibly complex these relationships are.”
Faye said she discovered her voice back in 2011, when she was studying at Stony Brook University on Long Island, N.Y., as part of UMPI’s National Student Exchange Program. Faye took an introduction to theater course and assisted in a production being led by her instructor. The work inspired her to write her own play. After nailing down a second draft, she held a reading with four actor friends. When one of them suggested that she go to graduate school for drama writing, Faye’s path became clear.
She spent two years at Primary Stages’ Einhorn School of Performing Arts, an off-Broadway theater company in New York City, taking playwriting classes. While she didn’t receive credit or grades, she gained invaluable experience workshopping her material and getting feedback from working professionals.
By 2014, Faye knew she needed to focus again on her bachelor’s degree. Because she knew she wanted to focus her playwriting on domestic violence and other criminal and social justice issues, she opted not to pursue an English degree, but to seek one in criminal justice.
Faye has not only worked hard on her degree, but to create theater opportunities for campus and community members. She revived the University Players, the campus drama club; staged “Infinitely Yours”; hosted a playwriting festival; and invited community members to take the stage as part of two Broadway revues.
Right now, though, Faye’s in a New York state of mind. With the first performance about a week away, she still has lots to organize. Faye has a Kickstarter campaign to help pay the actors, director and stage manager who are involved in the show. She needs to raise $800 by June 23 and has already raised about $500. To learn more or to make a donation, visitwww.kickstarter.com/projects/561141411/planet-connections-presents-infinitely-yours.
In addition, she’s partnered with the Hunker-Down INNitiative, which helps victims of domestic violence flee their unsafe homes with their pets. Proceeds from the NYC production will go toward this program.
“It is so surreal to be in NYC rehearsing my play right now. During the day, I get to see a show on Broadway, then at night I get to sit in a rehearsal studio near Times Square and watch my play — my characters — come to life,” Faye said. “I don’t think it’s actually hit me that on Sunday, a week from the Tony Awards, my play is opening in the same city. And I have a press release on BroadwayWorld.com, on the very same website I’d get most of my theatre news when I was growing up.
“This is what I’ve dreamed about for years, but I never thought I’d get here.”
Faye’s show was performed at the Paradise Factory Theatre, 64 East Fourth St., on Sunday, June 19 at 2 p.m. Other performances are Saturday, June 25 at 7 p.m.; Thursday, June 30 at 9 p.m.; Saturday, July 2 at 11:30 a.m.; and Tuesday, July 5, at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/27385 or 1-866-811-4111.
This is an approved Equity Showcase, directed by Aaron Vega and featuring actors Deb Radloff, Andrew Hutcheson, Maria Tholl and Kevin Kiler, all members of the Actors Equity Association.