The Frederick Gunn School Drama Society will present “Almost, Maine,” a romantic comedy by John Cariani, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 20, and Saturday, May 22, in the Tisch Family Auditorium of the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center. While our campus remains closed to the community, and only students and faculty may attend in person, the Saturday performance will be livestreamed. Please use this link to create an account with Broadway on Demand prior to May 22. This step must be completed in advance to access to the livestream event.
On May 7, the cast and crew of the spring play participated in a theater workshop with Cariani, who is an actor as well as a playwright. “Almost, Maine,” which premiered at Portland Stage Company in 2004 and opened off Broadway in 2006, was his first play. It has since become one of the most popular plays in the U.S. with nearly 5,000 productions to date, according to IMDB.
Cariani answered questions and talked with students about his process and thinking about the play, and gave them pointers on two scenes. “He was super warm and funny, but also realistic about his depiction of love and life,” said Sarah Archer of the Performing Arts and World Languages faculty, who is directing the play. “The students had a great time, and so did he!”
“It was a unique treat for the students,” Archer said, adding, “When do you get to meet a Broadway star and the writer of your show?”
According to The New York Times, “ALMOST, MAINE is a series of nine amiably absurdist vignettes about love, with a touch of good-natured magic realism…witty, romantic, unsentimental. A beautifully structured play, with nifty surprise endings (most but not all of them happy).”
“It’s a play about relationships and the idiosyncrasies between people in a rural town, so it will be very fun,” said Sarah Archer of the Performing Arts and World Languages faculty, who is directing the spring play. Archer said she selected “Almost, Maine,” because it was well suited to both the students who are participating in dramatic arts as a spring co-curricular this year, and the school’s current health and safety protocols.
"The kids are just so happy to be back in the theater, and the adults are, too," Archer added. The school's last live performance (and the first on stage in the new Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center) was "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," which was presented in February 2020, just before the pandemic.
The cast of “Almost, Maine” includes Erin-Elizabeth Ryan ’21, Drew Sutherland ’21, Quentin Sheers ’22, Emma Smith ’22 and Audrey Richards ’23. Acadia Johnson ’21 is the Stage Manager and Kate O’Farrell ’22 is the Assistant Stage Manager. The stage crew consists of Allison Bruck ’22, Serdar Kaltalioglu ’22 and Ursula Anderson ’22. The costumer for this production is Lucy Sanchez ’23.