Almost, Maine

Almost Maine set

Moorpark College 2015
click on a thumbnail to see a full production photo

Almost Maine set Almost Maine set Almost Maine Almost Maine Almost Maine Almost Maine Almost Maine
Almost Maine Almost Maine Almost Maine Almost Maine Almost Maine paint treatment Almost Maine paint treatment Almost Maine rendering

In its simplest form, this is a show of vignettes.  But we did not want it to be just sort of a cut and dry series of “one act”-type pieces.  They needed to exist all in the same world.  The story of the show had them all happening simultaneously, so we had to express to the audience that they were not happening sequentially but all at once.  While it is a character heavy show, the title is Almost, Maine, which is the town they are in, so that had to be a character in and of itself.  There were little bits of quirk and “magic” throughout the show, so we really wanted to accent this within the set.  And finally, it was important to the Director that there be an idea of “opening up” or making room for the idea of love which is the prevailing theme of the show.  It takes place one cold winter night in northern Maine, so that idea of cold and small town space was important for me to capture.  The “quirk” of the pieces was something I really glommed onto and wanted to express in the scenery, nothing says this type of idea to me as much as the lamp post of Narnia, so what I wanted to do was to have man-made light sources existing as part of the natural outdoorsy setting – there was a lamp post, but there was also an end table and lamp sitting out in the snow next to a tree, and there were various lights “growing” out of trees.  There was also a lot of clutter, a lot of “artifacts” of life scattered about the stage at the top of the show.  This was meant to represent the idea of blocking out the needed room to find love.  Each vignette had its own light source, as the scenes transitioned, all the lights would pulse, and various bits of stage clutter would form around that light source (via technicians who were dressed as town workers) and create the scene for that particular vignette.  When the scene was done, those bits of scenery would be removed and the next pieces would form the next vignette…  Then by the end of the last vignette, the stage was free of all clutter – save the trees and light sources – opening up the space for love that was found in the Epilogue (as well as throughout the show as a whole).  Each vignette also ended with a stylized lighting effect of the Northern Lights, and the end of the show culminated with a snowfall on our remaining actors.  Overall the effect was a magical setting, without being so over the top as to take away from the realism of the piece, but gave it that slight not-quite-right feel that implied we were seeing something a little out of real time and place.