Almost, Maine, a lighthearted romantic play about love and loss, opens tonight at Ridgefield High School and continues throughout the weekend.
Vanessa Diana, who plays the Waitress in the Moose Paddy Grill, says the student actors are enjoying that playwright John Cariani tells the story of people in a remote area of northern Maine through a series of vignettes. “It’s an interesting approach,” she says, “and has a really nice intimacy to it because there are never more than three actors on the stage.” Adding to the intimacy is that the audience is seated on the stage in a forest setting.
“Almost, Maine relates to anyone at any stage of life,” says Lucy Basile, who plays Glory. “It’s like eavesdropping on real conversations. By the second vignette, you realize that there will be connections between all of the characters.”
“The people are not perfect,” says Bea Altopp, who plays Shelly, “and what happens to them is not sugar-coated, but that’s what makes it great.”
In the cast are Bea Altopp, Callie Amill, Eleanor Andresen, Lucy Basile, Annabel Briody, Vanessa Diana, Riley Grossman, Liam Huff, Hannah Jay, Kyra Linekin, Caroline Malley, Thomas Mitchell, Emily Parker, Aman Premji, Sophia Smith and Evan Smolin. Ava Cowles, Gracie Galasso, Sara Hansen, Emma Joyce, Ana Kowalczyk, Lucy Kubrin, Elena Tittel, and Haydn Wilfinger are the understudies.
The play is directed by RHS performing arts teacher Sherry Cox. Shane Jaeger is the stage manager and Matt Carpenter, Maeve Cunningham, Leah Dodd, Emma Kiernan, Ryan Pratt, and Sarah Tonra are the running crew. DJ Ammirato and Emma Jaeger are on lighting with Olivia Clausen, Dennis Dowding, Conor Hankla, Kiralyse Hermann, Maiki Mursepp, Jonah Pereyra, and Anna Sorgie. RJ Carey and Donata Libonati work the sound board with Harrison Cluney, Dennis Dowding, and Tyler Munson. Kaitlyn Mitchell and Olivia Wieland do makeup.
Almost, Maine will have four evening performances, Nov. 15-17 at 7:30 p.m., and two matinees, Nov. 17 and 18 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students with school ID and for seniors age 60+. Ridgefield seniors who have a Gold Card may enjoy one show for free but must have the Gold Card with them for admission. Tickets will be sold at the door.