Upcoming Schuster play brings wintry weather, magic

The first Schuster Theatre production of the year is sweeping in next week with an icy breeze and heartwarming storyline.
“Almost, Maine” follows the interweaving stories of nine couples as their relationships begin, change and end over the course of a bitterly cold winter night.
The sparsely populated town of “Almost” is a small outcropping, a barely-there dot on the map.
But as the play unfolds, this seemingly sleepy town proves to be much more than meets the eye.
Written by John Cariani, “Almost, Maine” is an example of magical realism.
Magical realism is a style of both literature and theater that combines everyday people and events with elements of the supernatural.
The mystical twists in “Almost, Maine” are alternately sweet, sad and humorous.
One character carries her heart, smashed into 19 pieces, in a small paper bag.
Another shrinks to half his former size after losing all hope in love.
Two friends begin uncontrollably slipping and sliding across stage as they literally “fall” for one another.
Underneath these magical touches, the play pulses with deeply human experiences like falling for a friend, healing after heartbreak and awkwardly running into an ex.
Luckily, there were no broken hearts or long faces in sight Saturday as students from all majors worked together to create the set.
Michael McGhen, a junior psychology major, stood smiling in a cut-off T-shirt as painters, light technicians and set builders bustled around him.
“We all have a lot of fun together,” he said with a grin.
McGhen will be portraying the character Randy, who is struggling with new feelings cropping up in a friendship.
Isa Foltz, a senior theater tech & design major, came down from adjusting the lights in time to give a comment.
She is particularly excited for the curtain to rise on this production.
“I just love the magic of it all,” said Foltz. “We haven’t done anything like this before!”
This will be her fifth show overseeing the lighting and other technical aspects as stage manager.
Catch “Almost, Maine” at 8 p.m. Sept. 26-28 and Oct. 3-5 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 6.
Tickets are $5 for faculty, staff and students and can be purchased at the box office or reserved online at gannon.edu/schustertheatre.

ALEX STAUFF
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