Coming Soon To The Greenbelt Arts Center: ALMOST, MAINE

Coming Soon To The Greenbelt Arts Center: ALMOST, MAINEOn a cold, clear, moonless night in the middle of winter, all is not quite what it seems in the remote, mythical town of Almost, Maine. As the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, Almost's residents find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways. In this whimsical approach to the joys and perils of romance, knees are bruised, hearts are broken. But The Bruises heal, and the hearts mend - almost - in this delightful midwinter night's dream.

Almost, Maine is a story about love, not a love story. One Friday night, the people of the little town of Almost, Maine, experience the myriad of emotions that accompany the concept we call love. So, what is love? Joni Mitchell sang of love having "both sides." Poets and songwriters continue to write about "falling in love". But love itself is really not a feeling; it's the "falling" that is really the emotion - the excitement, the delight, the dizziness, yes and even the fear - that gets triggered when we first meet that certain someone.

And it has many facets, not just two. That initial thrill is not the end, for love continues to grow, to evolve. And with this growth can come other emotions - happiness, sadness, joy, jealousy, glee, anger, emptiness, agony, and ecstasy - that arise as this love matures. Love can die or just fade away. But the best emotion of all is contentment, that blissful feeling that warms our hearts and sustains our soul. This love is a companion that accompanies us wherever we go, whether we are with our loved one or not. In other words, love itself is an entity, a living thing, which is born, grows and lives out its life. So, Almost, Maine, is a story about the wonderful being that is love and includes tales of its birth, its growth, its thriving, and sometimes, unfortunately, its demise.

I chose to do Almost, Maine as a complement to my prior work in Dinner with Friends (written by Donald Margulies). At the end we were left hanging, not knowing where any of the characters were going to end up. Would they find contentment in their lives? Would the married couple Karen and Gabe be able to cling to their love? And it left me wondering about love. What it means, where it takes us. And while Almost, Maine doesn't answer the questions about the Dinner with Friends characters, it does help me to more fully understand what I was really asking, which was really "do we ever feel love?" And the answer is obvious to me now. We never feel "love;" we feel the emotions that abound from it. When we say "I love you", we are saying more than those three words. We are really saying "you give me joy, contentment, excitement, and happiness."

You will note in this program that several of the scenes were directed by people other than me. When I submitted this play, I decided that because each scene was really a separate short story about different people, not only would I mix and match actors to roles, but I would offer up the possibility for directing a scene to the actors and staff. My hope is that, in the future, this might induce them to direct shows either here at GAC or other venues. And in fact several took me up on my offer. I applaud their work, hope you enjoy what they have accomplished and encourage them to expand their horizons.

Enjoy the show. And may you always enjoy the warm companion of love.

Bob Kleinberg, Executive Director
TIME, PLACE and CHARACTERS: THE PLACE: Various locales in Almost, Maine, a small town in northern Maine that doesn't quite exist.

THE TIME: The present. Everything takes place at nine o'clock on a cold, clear, moonless, slightly surreal Friday night in the middle of the deepest part of a northern Maine winter.

PROLOGUE

Director: Bob Kleinberg
Pete: Rob Allen
Ginette: Christine Smith

ACT ONE

Scene 1: HER HEART

Director: Bob Kleinberg
East: Ryan Willis
Glory: Jenna Jones Paradis

Scene 2: SAD AND GLAD

Director: Bob Kleinberg
Jimmy: Rob Allen
Sandrine: Pamela Northrup
Waitress: Jenna Jones Paradis

Scene 3: THIS HURTS

Director: Bob Kleinberg
Marvalyn: Christine Smith
Steve: Jason Kanow

Scene 4: GETTING IT BACK

Director: Bob Kleinberg
Gayle: Emma Earnest
Lendall: Win Britt

INTERLOGUE

Director: Bob Kleinberg
Pete: Rob Allen

There will be one 15-minute intermission between Act I and Act II.

ACT TWO

Scene 5: THEY FELL

Director: Pamela Northrup
Randy: Jason Kanow
Chad: Ryan Willis

Scene 6: WHERE IT WENT

Director: Wynne Kleinberg
Phil: Win Britt
Marci: Jenna Jones Paradis

Scene 7: STORY OF HOPE

Director: Bob Kleinberg
Woman: Pamela Northrup
Man: Jason Kanow

Scene 8: SEEING THE THING

Director: Jason Kanow
Rhonda: Emma Earnest
Dave: Ryan Willis

EPILOGUE

Director: Bob Kleinberg
Pete: Rob Allen
Ginette: Christine Smith


PRODUCTION TEAM

Producer - Andrew Negri
Director - Bob Kleinberg
Assistant Directors - Wynne Kleinberg, Pamela Northrup, Jason Kanow
Set Design - Bob Kleinberg
Set Design Advisor - John Decker
Set Dressing - Wynne Kleinberg, Christine Smith
Artistic Consultant - Jim Adams
Sound Design - Bob Morris
Lighting Design - Steve Beitzell
Music Design - Den Giblin
Set Construction Lead - Bob Kleinberg
Set Painting - Penny Martin
Set Construction - Cast
Stage Manager - Wynne Kleinberg
Lights Execution - Steve Beitzell, Tom Gill
Sound Execution - Steve Beitzell, Tom Gill
Costume Coordinator - Gayle Negri
Running Crew - Laura Inkeles, Cast
Makeup - Cast
Properties - Christine Smith, Gayle Negri
Marquee Photography - Kristofer Northrup
Program - Joe Wall, Andrew Negri
Cover artwork - Ryan Willis

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