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For Maine State Music Theatre’s 'The Color Purple,' most of the work was done long before the curtain rose

During auditions, Director E. Faye Butler knows what she wants and sets her standards extremely high. She’s not unkind, but she is blunt.

BRUNSWICK, Maine — When E. Faye Butler went to work as the director of the musical “The Color Purple” at Maine State Music Theatre in Brunswick, she knew what she was looking for while casting: blazingly talented performers, the kind who make you sit up in your chair.

“I was really kind of critical in the audition process,” Butler said. “I like to hire people who are going to do the job I hired them for. I don’t want to have to do their job and tell them every little step to take, every little emotion to feel.”

Although Butler is demanding, she gives her performers plenty of encouragement. That’s why she’s been described as being like everyone’s aunt. “Aunt, mom, teacher,” Jaden Dominique, who plays the lead role of Celie, said. “Everything you could ask for in a director.”

During auditions, Butler knows what she wants and sets her standards extremely high. She’s not unkind, but she is blunt.

“There were lots of people who called me and said, 'I want to do ‘The Color Purple.’ I said you can’t sing it. That was the end of that conversation. And they were friends of mine!” Butler said. 

“The Color Purple” is at Maine State Music Theatre in Brunswick through Aug. 6.

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