“Oscar for Oscar’s sake” World premiere with  River Company.

Sat, 07/15/2023 - 11:30am

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River Company proudly presents “Oscar for Oscar’s sake” a new work in progress premiering off off off off Broadway at Skidompha Public Library's Porter Hall on Friday, July 21 and Saturday, July 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 23 at 2 p.m. The 90 minute piece stars Los Angeles actor and Lincoln Academy alumnus Michael Hovance (Aka- kid from home does good out west).

Back before the earth cooled, somewhere around 1988, Michael Hovance went to see a production of “Bye Bye Birdie” at Lincoln Academy’s Old Gym. The building that now houses Heartwood Regional Theater was then a combination gym and cafeteria by day and theater and concert hall by night.

“Bye Bye Birdie” featured Michael’s classmates and neighbors, including one nutty broad (me) who thew herself out with the trash by standing in a garbage can on the stage. Michael watched as classmates and community members performed under the Direction of Lincoln Academy English teacher Nick Azzaretti. As he watched he was bitten. “I want to do that,” he said to himself, and he did just that.


Michael Hovance  went on to study theater and history at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, and spent his junior year at the British American Drama Academy in London. It was during this time studying in London that Hovance's love of Wilde’s plays emerged. More than once it was remarked that he bore a passing resemblance to Wilde.

His credentials are impressive but more impressive is his dedication to his craft and his enduring joy in bring  Wilde to  blazing life. Michael has starred in over 35 plays and musicals in New York and Los Angeles. His roles have included Hamlet, Sweeney Todd, Charles Condomine in “Blithe Spirit,” Lord Goring in “An Ideal Husband,” and Jack in Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest,” both onstage and online with River Company.  Side note: when Michael auditioned for “An Ideal Husband,” the play’s producer told the director, “Oscar Wilde has just walked into the room.”  Becoming Wilde's characters onstage has led Michael deep into the playwright's own story. In 1882, as Wilde lectured his way across the United States, to promote the "art for art's sake" movement, he fully manifested the indelible persona and unique comedic perspective that pervades his greatest works.

The production features  Wilde’s words  and the talents of this remarkable man, Michael Hovance, with guest spots  by Kim Fletcher Smith and Nick Azzaretti as some of Wilde’s characters.

This delightful romp returns Michael to collaborate with his former teacher Nick Azzaretti, bringing the actor back full circle to share his talents with his hometown audience. Join your neighbors and friends to welcome Michael home and celebrate Oscar Wilde.

Michael Hovance explores “Oscar for Oscar's sake” at Skidompha Public Library's Porter Hall on Friday, July 21 and Saturday, July 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 23 at 2 p.m. All shows are “Pay What You Can” admission.  Skidompha is at 184 Main St., Damariscotta.

For more information, call 207-449-2943.

To see Michael and his River Company cohorts in action, please enjoy: The Importance of Being Earnest-


During Covid, the company did many  “zoom” productions, but Earnest brought a new level of  production  and included performers from across the country.