March 18, 2019

Well-known Skowhegan educator and Lakewood artistic director, Marti Stevens, dies suddenly

Marti Stevens, 54, of Cornville, well-known stage director and educator in Maine and the nation, died Saturday night while traveling on the Maine Turnpike in Portland. She apparently suffered a fatal asthma attack, according to police.

A Cornville resident since 1969, Stevens was director of alternative education programs in SAD 54, the Skowhegan area, including Crossroads and Somerset County Adult Basic Skills Programs.

A co-founder of the Cornville Players, she was artistic director of Lakewood Theater for eight years, directing more than 60 shows at Lakewood and Cornville. She was also vice president of Curtain Up Enterprises, the operating company of Lakewood.

“We will proceed with our season as planned by Marti,” said Curtain Up president Bruce Hertz. “It was routine for Marti to have rehearsals every day, often more than 12 hours of rehearsals. She would direct seven shows a summer. It may not be possible to replace her with one or two people.”

Stevens was trained as a professional actor in New York City with renowned acting coaches Uta Hagen and Gene Frankel. She used improvisational theater as a teaching tool in Teens ‘N Theatre in local schools and in Literacy Theater around the country. She was also a partner of Educational Skills Inc., a computer literacy program.

A member of the board of directors of the Kennebec Valley Community Action Program, the North Kennebec Regional Planning Commission and the Western Maine Mountain Alliance, she was graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree in journalism. She grew up in the Chicago area.

She is survived by a sister, Carolyn McKenney of Madison, Wis.

Memorial services are planned at the Lakewood Theater at a later date.

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