Audiences fall in love with “Almost, Maine”
Devin Gilmore, Veritas Staff
Love was in the air on May 3rd and 4th as the RHS auditorium was filled with students, teachers, and parents anxious to see this spring’s play Almost, Maine.
As soon as the lights faded, the curtains opened on a stage illuminated in technicolor lights to portray a snowy scene. Senior Chris Carchedi and sophomore Nicole Cook sat together in an awkward silence, mimicking almost the exact pause one might observe on a date. The silence was eventually broken and they began to express their feelings for each other in a heartwarming conversation that ended in Chris’ character telling Nicole’s that he loved her.
The play continued in vignettes portraying stories of love and the emotional aspects, both heartwarming and heartwrenching, that accompany it.
Some of the scenes portrayed touchy situations like divorce, the loss of a loved one, and missed chances.
In freshman Ella Engle’s vignette, “Her Heart,” for instance, a widow falls in love with a stranger while trying to mend the literally broken heart her husband left her with.
“My character was completely convinced that love doesn’t exist, and I believe that is something everyone, including myself, can relate to at some time in their lives,” Ella said.
Ella’s scene included a steamy kiss with her fellow actor Markus Rohwetter, a sophomore at RHS. Kissing onstage is always a way to entertain the audience and several bouts of whistling and giggles were heard from the audience when Markus and Ella shared their kiss.
Although the plays usually performed feature one big kiss, if any, the audience saw four different kissing scenes in Almost, Maine. These scenes did not feel awkward for the actors however.
“The willingness to kiss another actor was not advertised at auditions, but in all honestly, I can understand why it wasn’t,” Carchedi explained. “What happens onstage is acting – it means nothing offstage.”
The romantic content of Almost, Maine was completely different than plays the theater guild has performed in past years, such as last year’s lively Hairspray production that had showy costumes, singing and dancing, and obvious humor.
Theater guild advisor, Mrs. Armstrong, said, “It would have been easy to make this a cheesy comedy, but we really wanted to focus on character development and really get to the heart of the characters.”
The new approach at the spring play seemed to do just that. After the second night’s performance, audience members exited the auditorium with smiles on their faces, excitedly congratulating the actors on their performances.
“I think it was the best play, besides the musicals, that they’ve ever done,” said English teacher, Ms. Walsh, who attends almost every one of the theater guild’s productions.
RHS has seen nothing like this spring’s prduction of Almost, Maine in any other years but the enthusiastic cast, innovative scenery, and unique effects created a performance Mrs. Armstrong and most others have called “a success.”