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Sept. 23, 2011
By Brittany Keithley, media relations assistant
The northern lights will frame the stage as Theatre Northwest's first-year students portray roles as the sincere, clever and imaginative residents of Almost, Maine.
The production opens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, and continues with performances at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, and Saturday, Oct. 1, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, in the Mary Linn Auditorium at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts.
Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at www.theatrenorthwest.org. Tickets will be available at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.
"Almost, Maine," directed by Dr. Theo Ross, professor of communication, theatre and languages, takes place on a cold, clear, moonless night in the middle of winter in the remote, mythical town of Almost, Maine. With the northern lights hovering in the star-filled sky above, Almost's residents find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways in this midwinter night's dream
"Almost, Maine" premiered in 2004 in Portland, Ore., and in 2006 moved to off-Broadway where it received great critical acclaim. Since then, it has been performed in theaters around the country. The production largely deals with the complications of love, which are explored through various characters connected to a small town in Maine.
"It's a sweet play, a very tender and funny production," Ross said. "As you appreciate the humor in these people's lives you realize there is a unique quality about the production and in the little magical twist at the end of each scene. I'm sure this sort of magical realism will really play to audiences of all ages."
The annual Freshman/Transfer Showcase continues a 21-year-tradition of introducing the campus and community audiences to Northwest's new theater students in the first production of the school year. This year's show features more than two dozen first-year students performing and working behind the scenes.
The department faculty use the production to gain an understanding of the first-year students' performance styles and theater backgrounds. Additionally, the production gives first-year students the immediate experience of performing on a college stage. Erika Baker, a senior theater major from Cameron, is acting as a production mentor and working closely with the first-year students to ease their transition into University theater work.
"The main focus is to help the new students become familiar with how we do things at Northwest, so there isn't that long period before they get on stage to decide if they truly want to be a theatre major," Ross said. "Here at Northwest we want them to feel a part of the program or company as soon as possible. Because of this orientation program these kids are so much more comfortable and knowledgeable now and are working at a higher level more quickly."
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
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