By Josh Dinetz
The Wheatley Theater Company (WTC) will be presenting Almost, Maine this week. The 2015 fall drama will once again be directed by the extremely talented Colin McKenna, Wheatley English teacher and Drama Club advisor. In this production, the longtime assistant director, sophomore Talia Rosen, will wear a different hat and fill the role of stage manager, a position that requires more involvement with backstage logistics. Filling the assistant director role is senior Madie Misk, who was previously the makeup director. Social studies teacher Andrew Ardito will be offering his talents as codirector.
Similar to the crew switching things up, WTC has switched up the type of drama being produced. The past two fall dramas, The Laramie Project and Our Town, were a bit upsetting. In contrast, Almost, Maine is a romantic comedy, something longtime theater company members and current copresidents Morgan Misk and Jaclyn Stroud are “extremely happy about.” Unlike a traditional drama, this play is comprised of a series of “one acts,” similar to Saturday Night Live.
Each scene tells the story of a different couple who lives in the quaint little town of Almost, Maine and 18 lucky actors were cast to portray them. Since the show has such a small ensemble, the students who weren’t cast had the opportunity to join the extended crew as wardrobe, makeup and stage assistants. Many will also perform as understudies in the dress rehearsal on Wednesday, Nov. 18. When asked about this casting decision, Rosen said, “The casting decision is always difficult, especially when friends are involved. What makes it easier is that there are so many committed, talented members to choose from, there’s no shortage of options!”
The cast includes Justin Vega as Pete, Caroline Crimmins as Ginette, Josh Dinetz as East and Phil, Ariana Arralde as Glory, Elan Mizhiritsky as Jimmy, Lianna Golden as Sandrine, Devyn Bennett as Waitress, Morgan Misk as Marvalyn, Max Hochstein as Steve, Jaclyn Stroud as Gayle, Jason Manzano as Lendall, Alana Osroff as Randy, Noelle Molstad as Chad, Sydney Behar as Marci, Kimberly Esquilin as Hope, Mike Koszalka as Daniel, Liz Nolan as Rhonda, John Wanamaker as Dave, Hallie ArbitalJacoby as Hope understudy, Victoria Manfredi as Gayle understudy, Alexandra Kasparian as Waitress understudy, Danielle Smichock as Glory understudy, Abigail Smichock handling costumes and Michelle Smichock handling props.
The Wheatley Theater Company will present Almost, Maine on Thursday, Nov. 19, Friday, Nov. 20, and Saturday, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m. in The Wheatley School Auditorium, 11 Bacon Rd., Old Westbury. Tickets can be reserved online at http://wheatleytheater.weebly.com or purchased at the door for $10; senior citizens are free. So, come see the romantic, comical lives of the people of Almost, Maine.