Pine-Richland Thespian Society to present ‘Almost, Maine’
Monday, November 11, 2019 | 12:01 AM
This year’s fall play by the Pine-Richland High School International Thespian Society tells not one story but rather many stories over the course of the production.
“There are nine short plays, and each one is pretty much a different story, but all the scenes are around love and different ideas of love and how people perceive it differently,” said senior McKenna Exline, production manager for “Almost, Maine.”
The play was written by John Cariani and debuted at the Portland Stage Community in Portland, Maine, in 2004. It enjoyed a brief off-Broadway run, and in 2017-18 was the most-produced play in high schools across the United States.
Exline said that language arts teacher John Dolphin, who oversees the production, first presented the idea to perform the play last year, and although she’d never heard of it before, she read the script and fell in love. She believes audiences will enjoy it, too.
“I think they’re going to connect with some of our characters,” she said. “We have some really talented people in the cast who are going all in with method acting and knowing their lines and becoming the characters. I think the audience is going to be emotionally connected with the characters by the end of the story.”
Junior Mikayla Schiffer plays Rhonda, a character in the scene “Seeing the Thing” as the penultimate performance in the play.
“She’s falling in love with this guy but she doesn’t realize he likes her,” she said. “They’ve been friends for a really long time and they go skiing together and they’re just really playful with each other. I guess some would say that Rhonda wouldn’t be the kind of person to go for this guy, but she realizes very quickly that she likes him back. That’s how their love story starts.”
Aside from all dealing with love, she said, the only thing the stories have in common is that all the characters are from the same small fictional town of Almost, Maine. She thinks audiences will find many of the characters and stories relatable.
Each year, students fill all the roles in producing the fall play, from acting as cast members to managing production, marketing, ticket sales, costumes, make-up and all the other elements that go into making the play a success.
There are 18 students in the cast and 35 in the crew, Exline said.
“We take a lot of pride in being all student-run,” she said.
If you go
What: Pine-Richland High School International Thespian Society’s fall play, “Almost, Maine”
Where: Pine-Richland High School auditorium
When: Thursday, Nov. 21 at 4 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m.; and Saturday, Nov. 23 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Tickets: $8 and can be purchased at pr-thespian-society.ticketleap.com