Almost, Maine


Maura Shanley

Pictured here is one of the rehearsals with the closely knit cast and crew, Matthew Barbosa can be seen giving directions to perfect the show.“It tells very connectable stories, there’s an aspect of magic to it, but its not unreal” said Barbosa.

Josie Farwell, Staff Writer

For the last play of the year, the theatre program has a special performance in store. With only seven rehearsals, the cast and crew are preparing vigorously to put on a great final show, especially for the seniors who graduate in only 29 days.   

Almost, Maine is a tale of various love stories that take place somewhere so far north, it’s almost in Canada. John Cariani, the writer of the play, explains that the residents of Almost, Maine find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and hilarious ways. “It’s based on something that we have all experienced at one point in our lives, whether it’s falling in love or losing a love interest or getting rejected, there’s something that cuts to our core experience…it’s very relatable and very human,” said Matthew Barbosa, the Theatre Director at Hollis Brookline High School.

As Almost, Maine will be the final show for the seniors, Barbosa spent a lot of time making sure it was the perfect fit. “Over the summer, I spend a lot of time reading a whole bunch of scripts and looking at the cast size, the roles, the balance between girls and guys, remembering who I have returning and who I’m losing to graduation,” explained Barbosa.

This is such a good choice for the final show because it has 20 cast members, so it’s very inclusive. “It’s pretty low stress because every scene has two different actors and there’s only two people who come back on stage,” said stage manager Maura Shanley ‘20.

Since there is an unusually high amount of cast members, there were a lot of factors that went into the casting process. “What we are looking for in this process is who can read between the lines and see the motivations of the characters. If I ask them to make a change, who is directable? What pairings look like they belong together?” said Barbosa. “This is the last play for the year, so there’s a little bit more leniency towards the seniors because this is their last shot, so we have a couple seniors where this is their first role ever.”.

In addition to Barbosa’s directing, Claire Pare was in charge of costumes, while parents of Caroline and Claudia Pack, Todd and Ruth Pack, built the set. As for the people behind stage, a lot of preparation goes into making sure tech week goes by smoothly and ensuring the actors know all their lines. “Learning every single que that the writer wants is very challenging,” said actress Sam Price ‘20. “But I’ve learned how to grow as an actor and be more mature.”

The cast and crew have had an incredible experience in high school theatre. “I’ve gained so much that I could do it professionally. You get a sense of how the professional world works,” said Shanley.

Almost, Maine is set to make its debut tonight, with a second show on Saturday, starting at 7 p.m. Don’t miss it!