Originally published in Compass, July 31, 2014
New Surry Theatre brings world-renowned play home for first time
For the first time ever, the world-renowned play Sabrina Fair, written in East Blue Hill by Samuel Taylor, will be performed in Blue Hill this August. New Surry Theatre is bringing the romantic comedy about the chauffeur’s daughter and the millionaire’s son to the stage, according to a news release from NST.
Playwright Samuel Taylor, his wife Suzanne, and their two young boys, David and Michael, were living in New York City when they decided to spend the winter of 1951-52 in East Blue Hill. Since their farmhouse there had no heat, they borrowed a house on a nearby friend’s estate. This is where Taylor wrote much of Sabrina Fair, and it has always been rumored that the play may have been inspired by an East Blue Hill summer family. The Taylors left New York and moved to Maine permanently in 1968, and lived there for the remainder of their lives.
Sabrina Fair is the story of the daughter of a chauffeur to one of Long Island’s wealthiest families, the Larrabees. Sabrina returns to Long Island after four years of college and five years in Paris. Everyone is shocked to find the shy girl they knew transformed into a sophisticated young woman. Sabrina has returned with a purpose—to determine whether or not she is still in love with the younger Larrabee son, David. The elder son, Linus, a powerful business tycoon as well as a mischievous manipulator, discovers Sabrina’s potential feelings for his brother and decides to get involved. What transpires surprises everyone, especially Linus. The story is full of rich characters and witty dialogue. The play was made into two Hollywood movies named Sabrina (1954, with Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and William Holden; and 1995, with Julia Ormond, Harrison Ford and Greg Kinnear).
The play will be put on in Sam Taylor’s town for the first time in more than 60 years of the play’s existence. Moreover, it will use some of the original furniture that was onstage in the 1953-54 Broadway production. No other production of Sabrina Fair has ever had use of this furniture. New Surry Theatre’s production is directed by Dindy Royster and features a cast of NST trained actors. Sabrina Fair will open August 14 at 7 p.m. at the Blue Hill Town Hall Theater and will run August 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, and 23 at 7 p.m. and August 17 at 3 p.m. Tickets are available at 207-200-4720 or firstname.lastname@example.org.