Journey through Maine


Emily Hall

Laura Weiss (Senior) and Abram Cutshall (Junior) rehearsing their scene as Marvalyn and Steve in the theater.

The students in theater devote hours of their time to producing plays and musicals. In the newspaper, the background of the characters for this fall’s play “Almost, Maine” were explored. The actors needed their own story though, they are the ones who bring their characters off the page after all.

The actors have individual experiences, and for some, it’s their first show, like freshman Sam Cole. Cole expressed how being in a couple relieved some of the nerves of this being his first show. Cole was paired with senior Mackenzie Morris and was worried he would bring down her performance, but was reassured by her that he would be just fine.

“It’s nice to know you have a partner in acting and so she became my friend as well,” said Cole, who plays Phil.

One scene features the forming of a lesbian couple, Deena and Shelly. Sage Russell, Deena, was aware of the amount of trust a couple scene requires.

 “It’s just getting to know someone, and having to get that trust with someone, before you’re able to do such a big thing with them, “ said Russell.

 She also expressed how happy she was to be able to be involved in this particular scene because of her own sexuality.

“I’m just glad, not being a straight person myself, that I can be a part of this,” said Russell.

No scene is easy and the actors interviewed each had a different part they found difficult. Gea Henry’s  character is slightly more difficult due to the simple fact that she’s traveled all over only to come back.

“The hardest part of my scene is really making it hit home and be realistic because I’m trying to portray someone who is much older than me and seen basically everything there is too see,” Henry said. Jay Orr had a different opinion though.

“It’s hard to make it visually entertaining for the audience when I’m sitting the whole time,” said Orr.

Abram Cutshall who plays Steve and Dave, had a completely different problem. He found the wording to be a bit quirky and the playwright’s vision hard to get across.

“It’s hard to portray it accurately, the way the creator intended it, “ Cutshall said.

Cutshall’s character, Steve, doesn’t feel pain, which can be a difficult thing to act out when actors are taught to exaggerate emotion. It causes a problem for Steve as well because of who his partner is.                                                                                       

 “It’s kind of like a learning experience for both of them; for Steve because he’s talking to someone who’s only known pain and Marvalyn who’s talking to someone who never feels pain,” said Cutshall.

Some actors communicated the difficulty in conveying the emotions their characters feel, like sophomore Olivia Hritzkowin.

“She starts off really excitable and doesn’t really show any emotion to anything but by the end she’s almost crying and you finally get to see she does want to fall in love with other people and not just block herself out, “ Hritzkowin said.

All of the scenes have an emotion or core message, whether it be hope, love, pain or missed opportunities. Some have their message right in the title but others are left up to the interpretation of the audience.

 “A lot of [the couples] have really deep meanings in an abstract way,” Cutshall said.