Friday, November 20, 2015

Upcoming OU-C theater production “Almost, Maine” examines many dimensions of love and relationships

Ryan Kight and Haley Gray rehearse a scene from "Almost, Maine"

The Ohio University-Chillicothe theater program will present the play “Almost, Maine,” at 8 p.m. on Dec. 3, Dec. 4 and Dec. 5 in the Bennett Hall auditorium.

Written by John Cariani, the play deals with a small town’s dealings with the many excitations – and complications – of love on a magical midwinter’s night. The comedy is set in the fictional remote town of Almost, Maine, and includes a series of vignettes exploring love and loss, as well as the perils of romance. It is also the first OU-C production for director Lance Mekeel, who joined the campus’ faculty this fall.

Tickets are $5 for the general public, $3 for campus faculty and staff members, and OU-C students are admitted free with university ID. Tickets are available in the box office outside of the auditorium the evenings of performances.

“This production should appeal to a broad public because, if there is something everyone has experience with, it is love,” Mekeel said. “The play shares instances in relationships that are what I would consider threshold moments, when the relationship could break in several directions. With the theme being so universal, I thought this would be a great play for our premiere event this season. It is somewhat simple, yet very powerful, at the same time. The cast has shown a strong connection to the play, and the actors understand the themes and characters even better than I could have anticipated.”

The cast members are reacting well to the upcoming play.

“I like how the play covers all aspects of love: the good, the bad and the crazy moments,” said stage manager Rachael Ridout, a human services technology major from Portsmouth. “It is something that audience members can connect with in some way. The play is more than just a comedy, and there are lots of deep moments.

Ryan Kight, an education major from Florida, is making his acting debut with this production. “I have enjoyed the experience, and it has been a fun and challenging time. Also, as a future teacher, it has been helpful in learning to talk in front of people. Plus, being a teacher is somewhat similar to acting in a play in that you learn to connect with an audience in both situations.”

Haley Gray, a Unioto High School graduate and communication studies major, is a veteran student theater performer with Chillicothe Civic Theater as well as campus productions. “I have done a lot of backstage work the last few years, and it is fun to be back on stage. I think of this as a romantic comedy. It is easy to relate to this play. The actors and audience members can easily put themselves into the play and the relationships they see throughout it.”

For more information on the play or the OU-C theater program visit www.ohio.edu/chillicothe/studentlife/theater/index.cfm

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