By Madeleine Powell
Casting for the Mira Costa Drama Department’s upcoming production, “Almost, Maine” was finalized on September 9, releasing the names of the new play’s 20 cast members.
The play is written by John Cariani and takes place in a fictional, remote town in Maine called Almost. The play consists of 9 short vignettes, or scenes. Each vignette focuses on new characters who independently explore the production’s central theme of love.
“I’m playing a girl named Deena,” senior cast member Daisy Hummer said. “My scene is with my friend who is playing a girl named Shelly. Our scene is about friendship and about going on a date and it not working out. Then, we basically fall in love with each other.”
The Mira Costa Drama Department’s production of “Almost, Maine” will be performed on a thrust stage. A thrust stage extends into the audience and is viewable from three sides. This will enhance the production for its viewers, and will take cast members out of their comfort zones by exposing them to new ways of performing, drama teacher Carol Mathews said.
“I would hope that using this method of production will enable viewers to be more immersed in the action and afford different perspectives,” Costa teacher Nicole Wachell said. “They will feel more connected to the characters’ experiences.”
Auditions for the play began on Sept. 7, where students performed a prepared and one minute monologue of their choice. Their performances were evaluated by a production team. Callbacks were the next day and students who were called back then performed different scenes from the play.
“We had 84 students auditioning for 20 parts,” Mathews said. “We called back the people we’d consider, but each time we had to cut well over half of the list of students.”
One reason why “Almost, Maine” was chosen was because it offers roles to 20 students, Matthews said. Different productions of the play use different numbers of actors to fill each character’s role. Some performances use 4 actors who play multiple characters and others fill every role with different actors, as Costa will be doing.
“Having done several of these scenes before, we felt this was a good choice because there are different vignettes in this play that can provide more opportunities for students,” Matthews said.
The play opens on Nov. 4 at 7:30 PM in the Costa theatre. Showings will continue on Nov. 5, 9, 10, and 11. The final showings will be on November 12 at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM.
“It is going to be a really cool experience for the people involved,” Hummer said. “It’s just an awesome show, and I’m really excited.”