Broadneck High School is set to feature its fall theater production, “Almost, Maine,” a lighthearted yet introspective romantic comedy written by John Cariani.
The entire play takes place over the same 10-minute timespan, artfully depicted through nine vignettes.
Audience members are invited to explore themes of love, loss and redemption in a remote, fictional town called Almost, Maine. This production first premiered at the Portland Stage Company in 2004 and immediately broke box office records. “Almost, Maine” is still one of the most-produced full-length plays in high schools throughout the nation.
Last year, Broadneck’s production of “Antigone” won several awards at the annual Cappies Gala. When asked why this production was selected for fall, theater program director Kevin Whewell said that recent productions such as “And Then There Were None” and “Antigone” were both heavier and more serious productions. The department wanted to lighten the tone for its next production, and expand the student experience with different styles.
“I want my students to be challenged,” Whewell said, “and they are with this script.”
While the play might seem simplistic, once the actors get deeper into the script and its intentions, the play takes on a more complicated, emotional and in-depth view, looking at love from various angles and stages. These unique stages and angles are portrayed through each vignette featuring various characters.
“Some are about loss – some, redemption. But all are deeply, utterly human,” Whewell said. “Each character has been hurt in some way, and that pain lends depth to their performance, even in the most funny of scenes.”
This production takes a universal approach to looking at love and is all inclusive in its narrative, including a depiction of a same-sex relationship and their unique experience. When asked what he hopes audience members will take away or how they will react to the performance, Whewell replied, “Because of the inherent humanity of the characters, I think everyone, regardless of age, will relate to the incidents depicted.”
Cast members for this production include Jerrel Barnes, Winnie Carlton, Paul Cosby, Katherine Dreiss, Jordan Fuhrman, Owen Hoggard, Blake Martin, Virginia Marzoratti, Gwen McCarren, Sedona Salb, Katie Thayer, Hadlee Walker, Kestrel Watson, and Sarah Wilde.
Cast member Blake Martin remarked, “As a freshman, I wouldn’t have guessed that when I auditioned, I would actually be welcomed a seat at the table. However, I was, and I’m ineffably thankful. As for the show, ultimately the varying types of actors in ‘Almost, Maine’ are beauties to behold. Everyone manages to take me entirely by surprise in some form or another, [which] goes to show how passionate each solitary person is in this show.”
Dates for the show are November 21, 22 and 23 at 7:00pm. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and students. Tickets will be sold at the door.