Ohio University’s theater department performs a handful of productions every year, and the 2019-2020 season is complete with shows, including She Kills Monsters and Silent Sky. However, OU’s branch campuses, like Lancaster, also have theater programs with several productions worth attending.
OU Lancaster is celebrating its 10th anniversary of its theater program with several shows, including Almost, Maine.
Feb. 27 through March 1, Lancaster residents and OU Lancaster students alike are encouraged to attend the play full of love, loss and complicated relationships.
If You Go:
What: Almost, Maine
When: Feb. 27-29, 7 p.m., and March 1, 2 p.m.
Where: Ohio University Lancaster Theatre, 1570 Granville Pike
Admission: $14, students $12
Victor Jones, artistic director of OU Lancaster Theatre, is the director of Almost, Maine.
“It’s one of the best written love stories that I’ve ever read, and it’s one of the most popular plays done nationwide in the United States,” Jones said.
Almost, Maine, is a play by John Cariani that takes place in the fictional small town of Almost, Maine. The show consists of nine short stories with no more than two or three people on stage at a time, and the scenes have no correlation with each other except for the small, occasional reference to another character. Each scene shows the town members figuring out their relationships as they wait to see the northern lights.
The rehearsal process was a pretty quick one, which proved to be Jones’ biggest challenge with the show. But for Aaron Lawson, a senior studying middle school education, it was a fun experience to grind out the work with a cast full of friends he loves to be around.
“I sort of fell in love with getting to perform and getting to be with the different people,” Aaron Lawson said.
Jones chose the show in honor of the 10th anniversary because OU Lancaster Theatre originally performed the play in winter 2012. After receiving popular demand, Jones decided to revive the performance.
In keeping with the theme of the 10th anniversary season, Jones wanted to include alumni from the program. He invited some of the original cast members back to reprise their original roles from 2012’s Almost, Maine.
The three guest artists include Cheryse Hubbard-Ligabo as Sandrine and Marci; Travis Huddleston as Jimmy and Randy; and Mason Taylor as Chad and Phil. Hubbard-Ligabo now lives in Arizona and is working as a real estate agent, Huddleston just moved back to central Ohio after working in New York City at Google and Taylor just won an award from Sam Mendes, the director of 1917, for a role he played in a short film.
Aaron Lawson and his good friend Savanna Lawson, a senior studying middle school education, have loved working with the guest artists and with the rest of the cast.
“This truly is one of the most positive experiences I’ve had with a show,” Savanna Lawson said. “The cast is absolutely amazing. I love each and every one of them, and I really do feel like I’ve made lifelong friends with many, if not all of these people.”
Jones believes people will love Almost, Maine because of how relatable it is. Jones believes everyone at any stage of their life can relate to one of the short stories in some way or another.
“There’s some happy endings, some unhappy endings, but it’s very relatable to anyone who sees it,” Jones said. “These nine vignettes are beautifully written.”