DELAWARE, Ohio – Magic and romance are in the winter air for the Ohio Wesleyan University Department of Theatre & Dance’s production of “Almost, Maine” by John Cariani.
The play depicts pivotal moments in the relationships of nine couples in the fictional town of Almost in northern Maine. Their stories are told in vignettes “exploring the sudden thunderclap of love and the scorched earth that sometimes follows,” according to The New York Times.
“One of the play’s more charming, magical elements is to literalize some of the common idioms surrounding relationships,” said director Ed Kahn, Ph.D., an associate professor of theatre at Ohio Wesleyan.
In one scene, for example, a character carries the pieces of her broken heart inside a paper bag. “It adds a bit of whimsy to this heartfelt world without sacrificing any of its honest exploration into love and attraction,” Kahn said.
Performances will be held at 8 p.m. Feb. 21, 22, and 28, and March 1; and at 2 p.m. March 2 in the Chappelear Drama Center Studio Theatre, 45 Rowland Ave., Delaware, on the Ohio Wesleyan campus.
Kahn said the timing of the performances will make for an ideal “Almost, Maine” experience.
“February is a good time for ‘Almost, Maine’ – not just because the action takes place on a wintery evening, but also because it reminds us of the warmth we get from other people,” he said. “It should be exciting for audiences to come out from the cold into the Chappelear Studio Theatre to experience and explore what draws us to each other.”
Stage lights that normally hang in the Studio Theatre’s rafters have been repurposed to bring the magic of the Northern Lights to the show’s audiences.
Chris Andrus, M.F.A., Ohio Wesleyan Class of 2006, has returned to his alma mater as the lighting designer for “Almost, Maine.” He has built a special lighting apparatus that uses a motor, mirrors, and color-changing instruments to create vibrant patterns of light that resemble the aurora borealis.
Scenic design is by Chadwyn Knutson, M.F.A., and costume design is by Jacqueline Shelley, M.F.A. Anthony Lamoureux, an Ohio Wesleyan senior from Woonsocket, R.I., is the stage manager.
Playwright Cariani, a native of Presque Isle, Maine, wrote “Almost, Maine” for as few as four actors or as many as 19, the total number of characters. The OWU production has a cast of five men and five women.
To reserve tickets for Ohio Wesleyan’s production of “Almost, Maine,” call the Department of Theatre & Dance at (740) 368-3855 from 9 a.m. to noon or 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Reservations are strongly recommended.
Ticket prices are $10 for general admission and $5 for Ohio Wesleyan employees, non-OWU students, and senior citizens. Admission is free for Ohio Wesleyan students with a valid ID courtesy of a grant from the Wesleyan Council on Student Affairs.
Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private, coed university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Ohio Wesleyan combines a challenging, internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities to connect classroom theory with real-world practice. OWU’s 1,850 students represent 42 states and 37 countries. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.