Students bring fictional Maine town to life in festival play

Feb 29, 2020

The Wareham Viking Theatre Company’s latest production takes the audience to a mythical town in Maine for stories of love that are at turns funny, surreal, poignant, and heartbreaking.

The students will be performing an abbreviated version of John Cariani’s “Almost, Maine,” which is composed of several smaller stories.

“It’s vignette stories of love: love lost, love gained,” said student director Colby Flanigan. “Each story is unique.”
The students first performed the play at Bourne High School on Saturday, Feb. 29, for the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild Festival Competition. The competition includes forty-minute-long performances from five high schools, three of which will move on to compete at the semi-finals.

The tight time limit on the performance, in addition to the short vignettes, have forced the students to pack as much into every line and movement as possible. 

“We have such a short time to portray it, and such a big message. We have to make sure that we’re getting everything right,” said actor James Pinkham.

Flanigan said that he and the cast worked especially hard on getting into the minds -- and hearts -- of the characters in the show.

“They have really become their characters,” Flanigan said. “It’s amazing to see that on stage.”

The student actors deftly inhabited their roles during dress rehearsal, and moved seamlessly from moments of slapstick comedy to more emotionally-weighted scenes.

The students began working on the play in October, which gave them much more time than in the past to work on the show.

During a dress rehearsal on Thursday, Flanigan worked with the actors on the nuances of particular lines -- and honed their stage combat skills. 

The show will be performed for the public at 7 p.m. on March 12 and 13 in the Wareham High School auditorium at 7 Viking Drive. The performance is free, although a $5 donation is suggested.

For more information about the Theatre Company and to support the students’ work, go to the Wareham Viking Theatre Company page on Facebook.