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Stonington Opera House’s “Island Women Speak” coming back for a brand new performance Friday

Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 5:42 PM EST
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DEER ISLE, Maine (WABI) - One of the most popular shows at the Stonington Opera House is coming back for a brand new performance Friday.

‘Island Women Speak’ is a storytelling event featuring women from different generations, each telling a personal story live from the stage in front of an in-person audience.

The theme of ‘Island Women Speak’ this time around is ‘Advice to My Younger Self.’

“They’re standing up, and they speak out the story.,” said Debbie Weil. “They’re performing. Like you pause, you go slower, you go faster, you emphasize.”

Debbie Weil is the founder and director and says the show offers the audience an intimate glimpse through a window into the storyteller’s life, where the curtain would normally be closed.

“The storytellers talk about the important stuff, you know, the hard stuff that really is part of our lives and certainly in this community on this island, the stuff that you probably wouldn’t talk about if you’re in the grocery line,” said Weil.

Kira Jones has been going to ‘Island Women Speak’ since it debuted in 2018. On Friday, it will be her turn to stand alone on stage, in front of friends, family, acquaintances, and strangers.

“I always thought it was amazing that these women can get up and talk about these really hard things, you know, grief and loss, and, you know, but also really happy and amazing things,” said Jones. “And, I just always walked away like, man, that would just be such an amazing thing to be a part of and to be able to tell my story to people in that way.”

’Island Women Speak’ isn’t a play, and the women on stage aren’t actors. And, while this event offers them a chance to tell their story, it also gives them an opportunity to be heard.

“Often in life, you think you know someone, but we don’t really know where they’ve been, what they’ve experienced, what they’ve had to go through,” said Kathy Boyce. “So, I’m hoping that this will explain some of that.”

“Every time I’ve sat in that audience, I’ve always felt something. I’ve either felt sad, I felt angry alongside the storyteller,” said Jones. “I’ve felt, you know, happiness or joy or a connection, and I’ve always left at least once having tears streaming down my face.

“Part of the magic is that the audience is really listening, you know, paying attention,” said Weil. “And you know, you could hear a pin drop. That’s a pretty big deal, and I think it just feels really good.”

‘Island Women Speak’ at the Stonington Opera House starts at 7 pm Friday night and can be seen in-person or on-line.

To purchase tickets, or for more information about the show, visit operahousearts.org.

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