Almost, Maine

By: ANDY JUNE

Almost, Maine a play originally written by John Cariani has been recently directed by drama teacher, Nathan Day at our very own Benicia HighSchool on December 6th, 7th, and 8th by one cast, and December 12th, 13th, and 14th, by a completely different cast.

Almost, Maine is a play consisting of nine romantic short stories taking place at the same moment in the small undocumented town of Almost, Maine as clairified in the second scene. The play is a very well directed play, and seems to go perfectly when performed, especially considering the different cast and styles. There was a slight difference in creativeness in the separate casts, and a different feel when watching. Although both casts did very well, each scene seemed to be a bit different, and it almost felt like I was watching a whole new play, even though the lines were almost all the same, except in the scene I believe to be called ‘They fell’, where two best friends fall in love with each other. The scene consists of two characters of the same gender speaking of their past dating experiences with people of the opposite gender, and in the end, figure out they were actually in love with each other. This scene was portrayed two different ways: first with two girls and in the second two boys. The lines differed a bit, but both scenes ended with them literally falling in love with each other. They stand and fall on the ground laughing about how they had fallen for each other, and the story ends happily both weekends. 

The play is filled with numerous underlying meanings, the main meaning being love, and the feeling of love. An odd interpretation of this is a scene in a laundromat where two seem to fall in love in a short, confusing, amount of time. In the scene titled ‘This Hurts’ goes into action when one of the two people in the room, Marvalyn, accidently hits the other, Steve, in the head with an ironing board. Marvalyn quickly goes to Steve asking him if he is okay, in which he replies with a series of questions about the look of the injury, and when there is no visible injury he states that he is okay. Marvalyn then rushes to get ice before Steve quickly stops her, telling her he can’t feel pain. They then have a conversation about the types of pain one can feel, and how you can have pain without physically feeling it. Marvalyn seems to get feelings for Steve during this conversation and kisses him out of nowhere. Steve, surprised doesn’t quite know how to react and keeps talking about her previously mentioned boyfriend, who he seems not to like, and continuously asks if she loves him. While her actions say otherwise, she says she does and tries to leave, hitting Steve once again with the ironing board, but this time he feels the pain and they both have the realization and kiss once more. This scene is a handful to watch, but may be one of my favorite scenes in the whole performance. The whole play has many ways to show found love, but this is a weirdly unexpected place and conversation to find love in that is so odd, that it works. 

In the scene ‘Getting it Back”  the women, Gayle, goes to Lendalls house to take back all the love she had given him because she thinks he doesn’t want to get married. Gayle then continues get red bags from her car telling him it was all the love he gave her, and that she was giving it back because she didn’t want his love, she only wanted her own. After Gayle repeatedly tells Lendall to get the love she gave him and give it back. After Lendall goes inside the house, he comes back with a small red pouch telling Gayle it was all the love she had given him. Gayle then continues to get upset about how little love she must have given him. Lendall goes inside and Gayle sits on the bench in front of his house then opens the bag realizing that it’s a ring. After the realization of what the intent was, Lendall then comes outside once again and tells her she gave him so much love that he had to put it into a ring for her, and he was ready to get married. The scene had a very direct way of interpreting the love we give each other, and the way we give and receive it. A double meaning to this is the realization that we almost never realize the love that is being given to us, and how much love we are giving off into the word.

These are just a few of the scenes, but overall the play was wonderfully directed and interpreted and one of my favorite plays produced by the BHS drama department. If you weren’t able to see it yourself then I would recommend going online and reading a copy for yourself. 

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