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updated: 11/12/2013 4:09 PM

Kaneland High to stage 'Almost, Maine'

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Daily Herald staff reports

It is 9 p.m. on a cold, wintry Friday evening in Almost, Maine, and magic can be seen in the twinkling lights of the Aurora borealis.

Located in the northernmost county of Maine, Almost is far away from many things and contains wide open land and big sky. The people of Almost are ordinary, honest and true -- people who find themselves facing the obstacles that come with loving another person.

"Almost, Maine" is a series of vignettes, or short stories, that center around the trials and tribulations of love. Though each scene tells a separate story from the next, they are connected through the characters, location and theme of the play.

Each scene will contain a "magical moment," and all are happening at the exact same time -- as the clock strikes 9 p.m.

This thought-provoking play will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15 and 16, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, at Kaneland High School, 47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park. Tickets are $10, $5 for children.

"The main theme of 'Almost, Maine' is love," said sophomore Nicole DiSandro who plays Glory in the "Her Heart" vignette. "There are many different scenes with unique situations that ultimately result in an endearing love story. Something that people may find surprising is that these are not your typical love stories."

The structure of the storytelling is part of what prompted first-year director Christina Staker to choose "Almost, Maine" as Kaneland's fall play.

"I liked that the show is a series of short stories, as opposed to one long show, because it gives me the chance to focus more closely on character development with every student," Staker said in an email interview. "I also liked that though the theme of the show is very real and something everyone can relate to, there are aspects of magic throughout the show, which makes it unique."

Staker said she was impressed by the level of talent at Kaneland.

"The theater students at Kaneland have always been an amazing bunch of kids, and this year was no different," Staker said. "They are hard working, kind, and willing to listen to my suggestions and adapt to the moment.

"I was surprised at how quickly they were able to connect to their characters and figure out the timing of lines. This show has a lot of moments in which lines are meant to overlap each other, and if the timing is wrong it could mess up the moment, but they figured it out within the first few practices.

Asked what she thinks audiences will like best about the show, Staker said, "I think the audience will like that this show is easy to relate to. It's real and it's honest."

For details or tickets, visit www.kaneland.org.

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