By Kayleigh Rahn
Despite what the temperature reads in Tuscola, Illinois, the TCHS Drama Club is ready for winter romance and heartbreak in “Almost, Maine.”
The 2018 fall play–which will be staged Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12 and 13 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 14 at 2 p.m.–will transport the Tuscola cafeteria to a snowy winter night in Almost, Maine, where nine relationships will be on the cusp of change–for better or worse. The comedy, written by John Cariani, is comprised of eight short plays that consider love and loss in a remote setting around a park bench.
Director and Drama Club Sponsor Johanna Steffens admits that most people have never heard of this play, but the students became familiar with the production after attending a theater festival two years ago when they saw the sequel.
“This is one I’ve always wanted to do, but, I always wait for the right group and timing,” Steffens said. “It’s one of the most popular shows for a high school to do. I have been waiting for a time to do it scheduling-wise, because it’s a series of eight two-person scenes.”
However, like always, with the number of active students in the production, scheduling rehearsal proved to be difficult again, despite only students needing to rehearse at once.
“That being said, they’ve all done a really good job,” Steffens said. “Each scene has chemistry which is what we want and the students have gotten together to work on their own time too.
There are several underclassman in this year’s play, by which Steffens is encouraged. The cast includes 18 students, including eight seniors, in addition to backstage help.
“We had several more people at rehearsal than I expected,’ she said. “When this show was done on Broadway, the whole show was done by two people who played difference characters. Of course, we’re doing it so that there are different people in every scene, but I knew we had a lot of flexibility with the cast, which was nice that since I didn’t really know what to expect this year because we’ve lost a lot of seniors over the last few years.”
Almost, Maine. It premiered at the Portland Stage Company in Portland, Maine in 2004 where it broke box office records and garnered critical acclaim.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Oct. 10 edition of The Tuscola Journal.