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The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

Horizon

The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

Horizon

Drama Club Transports Lynbrook to “Almost, Maine”

Photo+courtesy+of+Parker+Sloan
Photo courtesy of Parker Sloan

Recently, the Drama Club dazzled audience members with the play Almost, Maine on the weekend of Friday, Apr. 12 and Saturday, Apr. 13. The club’s second production of its two annual arrangements was told in a series of vignettes (small snapshots with one to two actors onstage at a time). Almost, Maine is a tender, reflective, and relatable story of love in all its good, bad, and ugly forms. 

Since early March, the actors had been working with scene partners in individualized rehearsals with directors in order to perfect their scenes. This is what sets Almost, Maine apart from other typical plays: the only time the whole cast was together on stage was during bows. Throughout the show, which was told over two acts, each pair or trio of characters in a vignette appeared only once (with one exception). All of the respective vignettes are set in the quaint town of Almost, in cold and northern Maine. 

The vignettes began with senior Parker Sloan (Pete) and sophomore Alexa Rutigliano (Ginette), with Sloan reappearing at the beginning of Act 2 and both actors returning to the stage at the end of Act 2, closing the show with an embrace. Juniors Shannon Mansfield and Damon Lanzello took to the spotlight in the second vignette, playing Glory and East, respectively. Their story consisted of Glory traveling to Almost to attempt to say goodbye to her late husband, while East, a repairman, mends Glory’s broken heart; this is, of course, with a side of romance between the two characters. Mansfield spent her earlier time in the Drama Club as a member of the stage crew, but this was her first time being on stage in her LHS career. “I love participating in the play because it’s something different. I’ve only ever done musicals, so I enjoyed something that was more centered on acting,” Mansfield explained. 

Seniors Joaquin Vergara and Hannah Bousaid and sophomore Molly Schutzman’s scene was set in Almost’s local bar. Jimmy (Vergara) and Sandrine (Schutzman) reflect on their past relationship and the misspelled tattoo that Jimmy had inked as a result of it. As Sandrine exits the bar, Jimmy receives a free drink in exchange for his sadness and discovers that his waitress, Villian (Bousaid) makes his tattoo more significant than just a misspelling. 

The next vignette is between senior Gabriella Ramsammy (Marvalyn) and junior Jack Ceglie (Steve). Steve is a young man who has spent his whole life with his brother, who has explained to Steve things he can and cannot feel and things that can or cannot hurt him; Steve is unable to feel pain. As Steve progresses through his conversation with Marvalyn, she advises him that he can no longer live in such a sheltered and paranoid way. By the end of their conversation, Steve is able to feel more than just pain: he feels love, too. 

Couples can disagree about the amount of effort that is being put into the relationship by the other partner, and Gayle and Lendall, played by senior Aubrie-Lynn Wilkonski and sophomore Daniel Berrios, demonstrate this by “giving love back.” On the other hand, Deena (Bousaid) and Shelley (freshman Annabelle Murray) are lifelong friends who, when they spend their time together, discuss their individual problems with men they have dated. While discussing their relationship woes, the two girls get into a quasi-argument; Deena and Shelley realize that their platonic love for each other may be more than platonic. (Yes, this play has queer representation!)

While all members of the cast are teenagers, the characters they played are adults; therefore, the actors manage to relay the messages about very real adult problems. One such adult problem was struggles with marriage, as evidenced by the couple Phil and Marci, played by sophomores Shawn Sealey Jr. and Sophia Schoen, respectively. “The character of Marci is very emotionally layered and complicated, so being able to portray all of those layers of emotion and depth was really a new and interesting experience for me,” Schoen reflected. 

Almost, Maine begins to wind down when Hope (Wilkonski) returns to her former love Dan Harding, played by sophomore Ryan Dugger, for a second chance. This reunification is ended when Dan’s wife, Suzette, portrayed by senior Chiara DeBona, steps in.

 Rhonda (senior Kerry Cullen) and Dave (sophomore Jackson Reiser) are new and excited to enter the world of love. As the pair enter their budding relationship together in naivety, Rhonda sees the love that “Mr. Artic Cat Man” feels for her.

True to the play’s themes, Almost, Maine was a labor of love by the cast members involved and the production team. Director Michael Berrios reflected on the play after his first full year with the drama department: “Our goal from the beginning to end was to tell the story of Almost, Maine as best as we could: love lost, love found, unrequited love, missed opportunities at love. I think that we all experience a little ‘Almost’ in our lives. If just one person in the audience was able to connect with our story, then we were successful.”

 

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About the Contributor
Gianna Longo
Gianna Longo, Managing Editor
Hey there! My name’s Gianna, and I’m a member of the Class of 2025, along with many clubs here at LHS. In my spare time, you can find me on the stage, in the music wing, at my dance studio, or writing and editing for Horizon. Happy reading!