“Almost, Maine” Preparations

Cast and crew change fall play process due to COVID

by Danny Schneider, Polls Coordinator

Almost, Maine is the play chosen this year for the fall season. Due to COVID-19, the play this year has to have fewer people on stage as well as behind the scenes. Almost, Maine, is a series of short scenes. Since the play is set in northernmost Maine, the events of the play occur during an aurora borealis. 

Each scene deals with a different type of relationship: love, friendship, heartbreak,” Theater Director Nick Saubers said. 

This play was selected for two reasons, practically and creatively.

“Creatively, a play of duet scenes allows our actors the opportunity to really delve deeply into their character.  Practically, due to Covid-19 it is difficult to have multiple performers onstage,” Saubers said. 

Rehearsals are very important for a play to be successful. COVID has forced some major changes to the rehearsals this year, but that didn’t affect Saubers and rehearsals.

“Since there are only two to three people in each scene, scheduling has been remarkably easy and flexible to fit around the activities of our cast and crew members,” Saubers said. “Due to quarantining of some of our Cast, our rehearsals have become a mixture of in-person and virtual sessions, which has been interesting to say the least.”

The play has many actors and actresses in it making up different characters. Senior Nadia Miller has been casted as two different characters, the Waitress and Suzette.

 “The Waitress is a businesslike, kind and on-top-of-things kind of person and she is usually in a constant movement,” Miller said.

Miller is a vetran to the theater at High. This year will be completely different than any year before. She has had to adjust to this new way of performing.

“As a senior I feel like this is something new since nothing like this has happened before. But anything can happen and now we know what we can do if something happens like this again or if it continues,” she said.

The crew had to cut some of its members due to having to limit numbers behind the curtain. Junior Kat Marberry is the stage manager for this play. 

“Last year I would have attended all rehearsals to take blocking notes. To reduce the spread of Corona, I am unable to do that for Almost, Maine,” Marberry said. “I definitely have my doubts, but I am confident that we will figure something out.”

Difficulties have made it somewhat challenging at times because some students and teachers have had to quarantine after being exposed to the virus.

“We were all expecting a lot because we have a new director and are in the middle of a pandemic. I think everyone has handled it pretty well, and we are doing the best that we can. The only thing that makes it difficult is so many people being quarantined. Many rehearsals have been cancelled,” Marberry said. 

The play will be performed in Nov. 20-21 and the audience will be social distancing. Almost, Maine opens on Friday, November 20th at 7:00 p.m. with additional performances on Saturday, November 21st at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Seating will be distanced into sets of two seats, which will cut our total seating per performance in half.