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Fall Theater Begins With a Winter Tinged Classic

Elijah+Pacheco+kisses+Moriah+Andrews+on+the+cheek+during+a+matinee+performance+of+Almost+Maine+in+the+KW+auditorium+on+Saturday+October+21st.
Elijah Pacheco kisses Moriah Andrews on the cheek during a matinee performance of Almost Maine in the KW auditorium on Saturday October 21st.

Elijah Pacheco kisses Moriah Andrews on the cheek during a matinee performance of Almost Maine in the KW auditorium on Saturday October 21st.

Elijah Pacheco kisses Moriah Andrews on the cheek during a matinee performance of Almost Maine in the KW auditorium on Saturday October 21st.

Maddison Mahlum, Staff Writer

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At 7PM, October 19th, the lights fell as an audience of spectators sat in anticipation for the first Kelly Walsh theatrical performance of the year. That first performance would be a rendition of Almost, Maine. Originally produced in 2004, Almost, Maine is a classic of contemporary theater nationwide. The play is a collection of short vignettes about individuals falling in and out of love, all in the same town, all on the same night.

“It’s realistic, it’s not some fairy tale ending” said Ireland Heinze. Heinze portrayed the character Marcy in the scene “Where It Went”.

The road to opening night was not a simple path. The production was in development for over a month and a half. Before opening night, set pieces needed to be constructed, lights needed to be positioned, lines needed to be memorized, and costumes needed to be chosen. A large crew of student actors and technicians were needed to bring the show to life. Actors and designers alike had to plan ahead on how they were going to deliver the play’s varied themes of love and loss.

“It was difficult to bring up new anger each night” commented Heinze in regards to her performance. “I overlap my emotions onto my character to bring out something real. It was difficult to find new, real anger each performance.”

Heinze’s scene, performed with Cordell Jones is a realistic depiction of a complete communication breakdown in a long term couple and the consequences that follow.The scene takes place at an ice rink, one of several locations in the township of Almost. Creating a versatile set was crucial to this particular play.

“For lighting and set, you always have to do a lot of research on the play,” said Fallon Podrazik. Podrazik designed the set and lighting plan that created the town of Almost.

“You would research if it was indoor or outdoor lighting and the mood you want the audience to feel. The same type of research is used for set design.”

The final picturesque snowy set would rotate and shift scene to scene to create a living breathing town.

“Finding the time to put together the set and lighting design, and to get them both working together was the most difficult step,” Podrazik continued. “You shouldn’t be afraid to change the set and lights. You should be open to changes the director wants you to make.”

However more than a set and actors were needed to immerse the audience into the world of Almost, Maine.

“I ended up using a lot of winter clothes, flannel, sweaters, jeans, things like that,” said Jared Carlstrom, one of two costumers on the production. “I would start with research, and then go onto drawing lots of (Costume) drafts. It took awhile. The biggest challenge was trying to make young teens actually look like adults.”

“You need to know more than just design,” Carlstrom continued, “You need to understand the context of the play. You need to understand the purpose.”

Numerous actors and technicians were needed to bring the play to life. The first of many theatrical projects Kelly walsh will be producing this year. Almost, Maine concluded performances October 21.

 

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Fall Theater Begins With a Winter Tinged Classic