Shepherd's newest play, "Almost, Maine," wraps its run as a success.

“Almost, Maine” Concludes its Run

“Almost, Maine,” the newest presentation of Shepherd University Theater, wrapped its final show on Nov. 5.

The play was held in the Center for Contemporary Arts II Marinoff Theater and was clearly made for the setting. The fishbowl seating style of the Marinoff Theater was a key bonus for this play, and allowed for a much more intimate interaction between the actors and the audience than traditional theater seating affords.

The production began with no frills as an actor walked out and started a scene so quickly that some in the audience did not realize that the play had begun. This informality set the mood quickly, and the play was imbued with a sense lightheartedness for the rest of the evening.

Not a traditional two act play, this was instead a series of nine short scenes broken up by a 10-minute intermission. The scenes all revolved around a loose central theme of near-miss love stories occurring in the small town of Almost, Maine. The scenes were unconnected in plot but occasionally referred to the names of characters from other scenes to give it a unified and small-town feel.

The strongest aspect of the play was its tongue-in-cheek humor. Sometimes humor in plays that are not strictly comedies can seem a bit forced, but that was not the case in “Almost, Maine.” Indeed, the play at times harkened back to the heyday of “A Prairie Home Companion,” and some of the characters would have fit well into one of Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon monologues.

“Almost, Maine” was a fun and tightly rehearsed production, and made for a refreshing night out with a few laughs and a few moments of sentimentality that even the most jaded could not resist.

The production was directed by the General Manager of the Contemporary American Theater Festival Joshua Midgett and was stage managed by Casey Otto, a sophomore at Shepherd. The cast consisted of Shepherd students Temetrie Whaley Encarnacion, Tré Henley III, Kenny May, Kaitlyn Miller, Christian Montealegre, Austin David Susman, Daisy Thomas, Nevada Tribble and Danyel VanReenen.

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