This weekend, curtains will go up on Almost, Maine, as 21 Wooster students perform the whimsical rom-com play at Freedlander Theatre.
The play, written by award-winning actor John Cariani, centers around the residents of the fictional town of Almost. Divided up into nine interlocking love stories, Almost, Maine uses quaint techniques and witty dialogue between characters to show the uncertainty and fragility of love.
Each of the nine vignettes is a different scene with different characters, but all focus on the same concept: love. The audience watches as the various characters experience different situations, some of which include telling a significant other those dreaded-yet-anticipated “I love you” words for the first time, mending broken hearts and dealing with the loss of a former husband.
However, the show goes deeper than that of a stereotypical romantic comedy. While still keeping a playful feel, the scenes come together to show how love can never be a safe bet in life.
According to Cassidy Ktsanes ’19, the play shows how “exciting, scary and truly heartbreaking love can be.” Ktsanes plays the character Sandrine, a girl who unexpectedly runs into her ex-boyfriend while having fun with her friends at a local bar.
“It really delves into the uncertainty of love and how fragile and unexpected it can be,” Ktsanes continued. She went on to describe how the nine stories use magical realism to connect the seemingly independent characters in the play.
The playwright, Cariani, used an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote to describe Almost, Maine: “The sentimental person thinks things will last — the romantic person has a desperate confidence that they won’t.” Cariani then writes, “Almost, Maine is for romantics — not sentimentalists.”
The play does not sugarcoat the pains and heartbreaks involved with love, but instead shows how realistic it can be through the numerous entertaining stories and amusing plot lines employed in each scene.
However, the Wooster production of Almost, Maine will have a twist not present in the original productions. While there are originally only nine scenes, director Jimmy Noriega added a tenth. This never-before-seen addition gives the second act a surprising, unique twist that can only be accessed at Wooster.
In today’s world, with all the political and social hate that surrounds the population, Noriega’s unique interpretation of the play focuses on inclusivity and accepting others. “He wants to show how diverse love can be, and the different forms it can take,” Ktsanes said.
Noriega wants to show how beautiful the world can be if less attention was given to identities, and more was given to loving each other without discrimination.
Noriega’s twist combines with these whimsical stories to create a clever, nostalgic, and charming play.
Almost, Maine opened yesterday, March 2, and runs until Saturday, March 4. All performances are at 7:30 p.m and will be performed at Freedlander Theatre. Students can go to the box office this week to obtain tickets, which are free to all Wooster students.