2018-09-13 / Front Page

Play about real relationships to be performed at Bentley

By Tanya Terry
810-452-2645 • tterry@mihomepaper.com

Griffin Grabowski and Mallory Luvisch rehearse the scene Seeing the Thing for Bentley’s upcoming performance “Almost, Maine”. Photo provided Griffin Grabowski and Mallory Luvisch rehearse the scene Seeing the Thing for Bentley’s upcoming performance “Almost, Maine”. Photo provided BURTON — An alluring show soon to be presented is made up of nine short stories that all take place during the same 10-minute time frame in the small territory of Almost, Maine.

“We will be using a very minimalist set in order to keep the focus on the story,” Ash said.

“The overall theme of the play is to show love as it is, no more, no less. Keeping that in mind, we decided to go with a very simple stage and light design to help keep the focus on the actors and their stories instead of the background.”

According to Ash, the endings to all of the scenes have some very fun and sometimes literal twists.

“In order to stay true to the script we felt that it was extremely important to really get to know the characters and their motivations and then share that with our audiences,” she said.

“At first I had a hard time understanding my character, but the more I studied the more I began to fall in love with Glory,” said Jaide’Lanna Ankton, 16, who will play Glory.

“Often you see ‘Almost, Maine’ played up because of the poetry and imagery in the show, but we cannot forget these are ‘real’ people with real emotions and feelings,” said Griffin Grabowski.

In October 2014, Maiden High School in North Carolina canceled a production of “Almost, Maine” after some parents and area churches complained about the play’s inclusion of a same-sex couple.

“We were aware of this when selecting this show which is why we took the selection to the board prior to applying for the rights,” Ash said. “However, there have been many successful productions of this show in high schools all around the country and even within our own state. Even within the scene, the theme is not about the gender of the characters, but rather the moment when two friends realize that they have feelings for one another.”

Ash said the scene is not the main focus of the production, and one reason she decided to keep all the scenes in the show is she feels it’s her job to provide students with opportunities to grow as actors.

“Many of the theater students will continue to pursue theater after graduation in some form or another and it is important that they are prepared to deal with playing roles that may be outside of their comfort zones,” she said.

The Bentley Athletics Boosters will have the concessions table set up at the production. The money from concessions will benefit both the boosters and the theater program.

Shows are 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sept.15 at 2:30 and 7:30 and 2:30 p.m. September 16th in the Bentley Middle School Cafeteria. Tickets are $5 if ordered in advance or $8 at the door. Advanced tickets can be ordered by emailing your name, performance date and time, and number of tickets to tickets@bentleyschools.org and can be paid for when picked up on the show night.

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