Characters learned the meaning of love in UCA’s rendition of play “Almost, Maine” when it opened Feb. 13 at the Snow Fines Arts Center Bridges/Larson Theatre.
Set under the beautiful lights of the aurora borealis (northern lights), “Almost, Maine” is a series of scenes about the people of Almost, the town too lazy to become a town, as they discover, lose and maintain love in their lives.
The actors, garbed in wintry weather costumes, portrayed life in the Pine Tree State as their characters learned the meaning of love.
The play included a series of metaphorical images of love – from bags of love, a literal broken heart kept in a bag, and literally “falling” in love – which added a depth to the production.
Assistant theatre professor Greg Blakely directed the play that features a cast of seven people – senior Chad Fulmer, sophomore Emily Ray, sophomore Frank Hunter, freshman Harrison Trigg, junior Indigo Anderson-Moore, freshman Madison Ellis and junior Jessica Allis.
The cast and crew pulled the production together in a short period of time.
“We are the middle play in the school year, which entails that we have a very short time to get the play together,” Trigg said. “In total, we have been working on this for about one to two months, which is challenging.”
A favorite among audience members was the light design of the aurora borealis, which set the backdrop for the scenes.
Freshman Kimber Fitts said, “The lighting was very neat and really realistic.”
Despite a short production time, the play delivered with beautiful scenes, simplistic but effective scenery, a gorgeous and realistic representation of the northern lights and heartfelt acting that left the audience issuing a round of “awws.”
Fitts said the play was a heartwarming perspective of love.
“I thought it was very neat the way the intricate detail reflected the quality of the show and the quality of the way the playwright wanted it to be performed,” she said.
Senior stage manager Xander Udochi, sophomore light designer Emily Beggs, junior sound designer Sara Sharos, junior scenery designer Erica Craig and senior costume designer Haley Tynes also helped make the production possible.
The production left an impact on audience members, making them question relationships and the real source of love.
Trigg said he hoped the audience took away that love is a very complicated thing.
“It can be one of the best things in the world, but it can also be one of the worst and most crippling,” he said. “I hope that it not only brings people to love on an emotional level that hurts, but also makes them feel good, so they know that there is hope.”
“Almost, Maine” plays at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19-21. UCA students with an ID receive two free tickets. General admission is $10.
For reservations, call (501) 450-3265 or visit the Reynolds Performance Hall box office.