On November 13 Deering Lodge #83 AF&AM (102 Bishop Street, Portland, Maine deeringlodge.com), under the Grand Lodge of Maine (www.mainemason.org), will bring a momentous and unique event to Maine’s Masonic community. The Lodge will host the debut of the one act Masonic themed play, In The Interests Of The Brethren, written and directed by Brother Aaron Joy of Portland, with a six man cast drawn from across the district’s nine lodges.
Calling this is a ‘unique event’ is meant quite literally. This will be the first time a play combines all the variables of being explictly about the Masonic experience, taking place present day and not historically themed or a dramatization of a historic event, written by a Maine brother and not a former Scottish Rite degree or Brother Carl Claudy play, and performed for the public with no cover charge. All those variables make for a unique moment in Maine Masonry and the Portland theater scene as no previous Masonically sponsored show has brought all these variables together.
The show is open to the public and all are invited, whether Masonic brother or curious about Freemasonry or just a theater attendee looking for a new experience, men and women, though the show is not thematically relevant for youth. This is not semi-public nor in open lodge, but a fully public informal event. Optional dinner at 6:30, show at 7:30, normally scheduled Stated to follow for attending brothers. Guests are invited to stay after the show to discover more about Masonry. No tickets or entry cost, but those who come for dinner are asked to give a small donate to cover food costs and RSVP for a head count. Other attendees, in lieu of tickets, are invited to instead contribute to the Lodge’s annual collection of personal items that are boxed together for the homeless. A donation can be something like a wool hat or a toothbrush.
The play, written 2016, was loosely inspired by the Rudyard Kipling short story of the same name, which is about a soldier discovering how a lodge transcends world problems and turns enemies into friends on the level. The play is about a guy that left Masonry after the first degree on the eve of his father not being voted in as Master, and who would also leave the Craft to soon die heart-broken. Years later, when Masonry is a forgotten bitter taste, the guy finds himself unexpectantly attending Lodge. Here he discovers what Masonry really means, comes to terms with his father’s death, and understands why even in the face of disappointment his father still encouraged him to stay with Masonry.
The play will be presented as a reading. This is not to be confused with poetry readings but is a performance without formal set or costumes and with script in hand. While eliciting interest in staging future or more eleaborate productions is welcomed, the goals of this reading is to share a local brother’s creative work, get writing feedback for further development, introduce a new social activity into Lodge culture, open the lodge to visitors and remind brethren that Masonry isn’t just about memorizing ritual but it can go wherever one wants to take it.
Its author/director has over 200 theater shows under his belt, ranging from community theater acting to historical re-enactments to technical work to directing Off-Broadway to writing an award-winning musical. Currently, he can seen acting lead in Scottish Rite Northern Masonic Jurisdiction degrees and in 2016 was in a largely improvised 2 act gangster themed show for DeMolay and Rainbow. To direct his own show is a lifelong dream and Masonry provided the much needed source of inspiration while seemingly aligning the stars. Brother Joy is a member of Portland’s Triangle Lodge #1, Gorham’s Harmony Lodge #38, Scottish Rite NMJ and is the webmaster for the Maine Lodge of Research.
For more information, contact playwright/director Brother Aaron Joy at email@example.com or call/text 646-597-1583 (leave a message) for more information, questions, and to RSVP for dinner.
What: A one act Masonic themed play, In The Interests Of The Brethren
When: November 13, 2017
Where: Deering Lodge #83 AF&AM, 102 Bishop Street, Portland, Maine
Cost: Free (donation suggested for dinner following)
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Thanks for sharing about my play. The support from brethren far and wide means as much as from those I see in Lodge every month. Even though I know few reading will attend, I hope news of some positive creative stuff one brother is doing will inspire others to bring their passions into Masonry. Masony is not just about memorizing ritual and morality, but is also about adding to what you are already doing. All these things, my play, this blog, podcasts, books, have made the Craft far more diverse and a far richer pallette of colors than ever before. And, wink wink, I would be open to doing the show again elsewhere after its debut here.