The Cougar Chronicle

Almost, Maine addresses the realities of relationships

Adrianna Adame, News Reporter

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Comedy, romance and heartbreak; all of which could be found at the production of Almost, Maine, a tale of nine different love stories that take place in the fictional town of Almost, Maine.

Dominique Duren, director of the play, is a recent CSUSM graduate who got special permission to direct the production on campus after purchasing the rights to it. To make the production possible, Duren primarily funded the play herself and had help from family, crew and cast when it came to building the set. Duren described the play as being “just so ridiculous and funny… It’s funny how relatable it is, because I mean we’ve all been at that point where we are in a first relationship and we are like I don’t know how to kiss, I don’t know what comes next.”

 

Almost, Maine is an unofficial town located so far north in Maine, that it is almost in Canada; hence the name. The nine love stories centered in the small town took place in separately titled scenes for each respective relationship.

 

Duren said that her favorite story out of the nine was Seeing the Thing. In this story, Rhonda learns about Dave’s love for her after being kissed by him. She gets nervous because she doesn’t know how to kiss and has no experience when it comes to relationships. Eventually Rhonda gains confidence andis open to trying new things in her new relationship with Dave.

 

Jacob James, one of the four main cast members and third year at CSUSM, played Jimmy, Steve, Randy, Phil and Dave. On performing, James said, “I had such a great time performing… it was one of the best feelings that I ever had.” His favorite character to play was Phil, the forgetful husband of Marci, from the scene Where it Went. Phil can’t remember important details about his relationship with his wife and rarely spends time with her due to work. James said that “there is a story for everyone to relate to” in Almost, Maine. This includes stories of heartbreak like Phil and Marci’s scene.

 

There was laughter throughout the theater during all of the scenes. During emotional scenes, there were gasps, cheers and sometimes silence. Duren said that “I hope that the audience takes away that love is often times silent… As weird as it looks, as silent as it sounds, as most inopportune as it comes, it’s always supposed to be there when it comes. It’s perfect in its own ways, as sappy as it sounds.” By the end of the play, the audience was applauding- some even giving a standing ovation. From a glance at the audience, it appears that Almost, Maine left a smile on nearly everyone’s face.

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