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Curtain Went Up Thursday For ‘Almost Maine’ Production

April Mooney, a junior at Water Valley High School, plays Ginette and Michael Phillips, a senior, plays Pete in the Drama Club production of “Almost, Maine.” – Photo by Jack Gurner

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – The curtain goes up at 7 p.m. this Thursday night, March 3, on the Water Valley High School Drama Club production of “Almost, Maine.”

The romantic comedy by John Cariani will be presented at the Civic Auditorium on North Main Street. Admission is $5 at the door.

The play consists of several stories that takes place on a cold, clear, moonless night in the middle of winter, in the remote, mythical town of Almost, Maine, according to Debra Anderson, drama club sponsor and play director.

“As the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky, residents of Almost find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways,” Anderson said.  

For the past three years, the drama club has produced mainly fairy tales, spoofs and silly comedies but “Almost, Maine” is not like those plays at all. Anderson and the drama students are very excited about what they are calling their first “grown up” play.

“The play is very different from any that the drama club has ever done,” said Drama Club President Morgan Way.  “It’s a lot of fun, but it is very serious, too.  It’s all about love, and everyone that comes out to see the play will fall in love.”

“We have gone beyond just learning lines,” Anderson added.  “The students have really worked to develop characters that are very different from them selves and learned a lot in doing so. Even though “Almost, Maine” has plenty of comedy, there are some serious and sentimental moments as well.”

The play is not recommend for elementary age children because the subject matter is about adult relationships that young children just would not understand or enjoy.

The Drama Club has had help with their production from others at Water Valley High School. English teacher Anna Koshinina has been instrumental in getting the set built and has obtained donations of time, talent and materials from the community that has been invaluable, Anderson said.  

Building trades teacher Byron Beard has taken on the task of the actual building of the set and art teacher Doug Anderson has produced a re-creation of the northern lights to add to the set decoration.  

“All of the stories within the play are connected by time, as each is occurring at 9 p.m. on the same night in the middle of winter,” Anderson said. “Another connecting thread is the strong physical reaction different characters have to the complications of love.”

“One character gets an odd tattoo, another carries around shards of her broken heart in a bag after her husband’s betrayal, one couple questions the direction their marriage has taken, and one character who cannot feel pain suddenly experiences both pain and love.

Students participating in “Almost, Maine” are: Jesse Anderson, Morgan Way, Autumn Mooney, Sydney Nelson, Michael Phillips, Tommy Lipscomb, Emily Rone, Brittany Hodge, Cassandra Shawk, Christian Stone, Jillian Harris, Danny Smith, Zach Moore, Timothy Perkins, Daimion Pollard, Treshon Calahan, Kreniece Reid, Nikita Wilson, Devyn McCormick, Amber Mooney, Audrey Jones, Holly Bounds, Elizabeth Davis, Victoria Hopper, Ashley Isaacs, Tyler Kang, Lorin Moser, Matthew Fillmore, Kristie Nelson, Turmarro Smith, and Jasmine Redmond.

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