By Erica Dunigan
Many actors find it challenging to develop just one single character in a play. In the upcoming performance of “Almost, Maine,” seven student actors will take on the challenging task of covering 19 roles.
The theatre department will be performing “Almost, Maine” at 7:30 p.m. April 14 and 15 and 3:30 p.m. on April 17 in Messenger Recital Hall. The show is free to SC students and faculty. Tickets will be $8 for adults and $4 for students outside of SC.
Southwestern theatre students chose “Almost, Maine” as one of the last performances for the year because of the challenges the play presents to the performers.
Roger Moon, associate professor of theatre and speech, said that it offers students room to grow and learn. “It gives them an opportunity to concentrate on having a few people on larger roles,” said Moon. “This play would also give them a huge learning experience playing multiple roles at the same time.”
“Almost, Maine” written by John Cariani, has found a lot of success by winning multiple awards. In 2010, “Syracuse New Times” recognized Syracuse Stage’s production of “Almost, Maine” as one of the best of 2010.
The play has been performed by more than 600 companies in the United States and Canada.
The play originally opened off-Broadway in 2005, in Daryl Roth Theatre. Set in a small town in Maine, each character performs in a variety of locations for different scenes, such as a potato field or kitchen. As the play goes on, the characters find themselves caught up in hilarious and unpredictable romantic situations.
Caitlynn French, theatre senior, said, “It’s a show all about love, in all its forms, how it affects people, and in its different phases.”
The play is written with 19 roles, which are supposed to be performed by four actors, two male and two female. Moon said that four actors were cast, but one actor dropped out, leaving the play with three actors to play the first 14 roles. “There will be four more actors to step in to play the other five roles in the play,” he said.
Both Cooper Hart, theatre sophomore, and French agreed that connecting with the audience with these characters each actor has in the allotted time they have is very important.
“With a play like ‘Almost, Maine’ you have to develop each character in the amount of time that you are given for each scene,” said Hart. “We have to bring a lot out of each character. We want the audience to get an idea of who each character is. It’s definitely a challenge with the time we are given for each scene.”
Hart will be playing four roles and French will be playing five roles.
French said each audience member should expect to see a bunch of unique characters on stage. “They should come ready to have a lot of fun,” said French. “It’s really a funny romantic comedy that really gets at the heart of a small town life.”
Erica Dunigan is a junior majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.