THEATER AND DANCE

“Almost, Maine” performed at COA

Stevie DuFresne and Ben Moniz as Randy and Chad in COA's production of &quotAlmost, Maine."
Stevie DuFresne and Ben Moniz as Randy and Chad in COA's production of "Almost, Maine."
Posted Feb. 26, 2013, at 1:08 p.m.

Friday, March 8 to Sunday, March 10, 2013; 7:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Location: College of the Atlantic - Gates Community Center, 105 Eden Street, Bar Harbor, Maine

Contact: Ayden Pugh; 207-288-5015

Website: newsworthy.com

Under a wintery sky flickering with the northern lights, the people of Almost, Maine, fall in and out of love in unexpected ways in the romantic comedy written by Aroostook County native John Cariani. The play “Almost, Maine” is being produced by students at College of the Atlantic, directed by Ayden Pugh and co-directed by Chloe Rohn. It will be performed in Gates Community Center at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, March 8 and 9, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 10.

“Almost, Maine” was the most popular production produced by the Portland Stage Company. During its New York City run, the New York Post described it as “Thornton Wilder crossed with ‘The Twilight Zone.’ When the northern lights appear in the sky and the characters shine with the joyfulness of love, it’s hard not to believe that the wintry air of northern Maine isn’t the cure for heartache.”

It was described by The New York Times as “A comedy comprising almost a dozen two-character vignettes exploring the sudden thunderclap of love and the scorched earth that sometimes follows,” adding, “John Cariani’s play will evoke either awww’s or ick’s, depending on your affection for its whimsical approach to the joys and perils of romance.”

The play is staged with nine separate scenes, each of which reveals defining moments in the relationships of those involved—19 people in all. Most of the individuals know each other, as “Almost, Maine” is set in this fictional small Maine town, but the relationships are not particularly intertwined. Each scene contains what the playwright calls “a magical moment,” when the essential theme of the relationship—whether between best friends, longterm lovers, exes, or other situations—comes to life.

Because the vignettes are short, the actors have the challenge of creating their own character. Says Rohn, “Each character is unique to the actor. It makes it a lot richer.”

Pugh has been part of the extensive run of student-produced plays at COA, co-directing a production last year. When she found the script for “Almost, Maine,” she says, “I fell in love with the play and how unusual it is.”

Adds Rohn, “what we want people to come away with is a recognition of how simple, honest, and true human emotions can be.”

For more information about the performances, which are free, of “Almost, Maine” in Gates Community Center at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, March 8 and 9, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 10, contact Aydan Pugh at apugh@coa.edu, or 207-288-5015.

College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning—human ecology—that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. For more, visit www.coa.edu.

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