Bowdoin’s Killeen Brings World Stage Premiere of ‘Babette’s Feast’ to Portland

Michelle Hurst (“Babette”) and Abigail Killeen (L-R). Excerpt from a photo by Aaron Flacke.

A stage production of the Oscar-winning 1987 Danish movie Babette’s Feast is enjoying its world premiere this week at Portland Stage Company, writes Meredith Goad in The Portland Press Herald. The production was conceived and developed by Associate Professor of Theater Abigail Killeen and written by playwright Rose Courtney.

Based on a short story by Isak Dinesen, Babette’s Feast is about a refugee from France in the late nineteenth century who moves to a small Scandinavian fishing community where, using the last of her savings, she cooks everyone a magnificent meal. Although Babette’s Feast is regarded as one of the greatest gastronomic films ever made, the story is about much more than food, said Killeen, who is also acting in the production.

“If the audience walks away thinking Babette’s Feast is about food, we’ve failed,” she told the newspaper. “This play is about the way relationships are transformed through this beautiful act of sharing a meal. It’s the heart and the spirit behind it, as well as the food itself.” Read more.

Babette’s Feast is running at Portland Stage from January 23 to February 18, 2018. Also involved in the production are Assistant Professor of Dance Aretha Aoki, who is dance consultant, and Tony Award winner Chris Akerlind, who is adjunct professor of theater for the spring 2018 semester. He is the lighting and set designer.

One thought on “Bowdoin’s Killeen Brings World Stage Premiere of ‘Babette’s Feast’ to Portland

  1. Patricia McHold

    Is the play by Courtney available for purchase? I saw the play on Sunday and was thrilled by the beautifully choreographed mimic production with the accompanying group reduced sound effects. I was disappointed to have missed about half of the dialogue. In most cases my hearing aids are sufficient support to allow me to hear theater at Portland Stage. So now I’d like to read the play.

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