Stories of love open Hinsdale South’s theater season
Sophomore Eric Kopicki of playing Dave shows his "interest" for Katie Angerman playing Rhonda during their rehearsal. | Steve Johnston~for Sun-Times Media
WHERE: Hinsdale South High School auditorium,
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25-27
Updated: December 17, 2012 1:57AM
DARIEN — You won’t find Almost, Maine, on a map.
But you will find the people portrayed in Hinsdale South High School’s first student production of the school year in just about any town, anywhere.
“They’re ordinary people,” said senior Kyler Shin, a member of the 20-student cast.
But the play itself is anything but ordinary. “Almost, Maine,” by John Cariani, is actually a collection of nine short plays about nine relationships between people in Almost, Maine. All nine stories take place on the same winter night in the same small town.
“They’re vignettes,” said director Pam Baker.
Among them are tales of unrequited love, newly discovered love, forbidden love, love lost and love found.
Baker said she and her students fell in love themselves while watching the play at last year’s All-State Theater Fest.
“It’s a lovely, pretty collection of stories,” she said.
“Most of the scenes have two people in it,” Baker said.
Because of that, Baker said chemistry played a big part in the casting.
Senior Paige Perconti is cast with sophomore Joe Kluge in a tale about a woman who decides to finally respond to a marriage proposal made 30 years before. Perconti has frequented the South stage as an actress, but she said her role as Hope is particularly challenging.
She said because each scene is a story in itself, there is very little time for the audience to meet the characters.
“You really have to be yourself more than anything,” said Perconti.
Kluge plays Daniel, the man who proposed to Hope but long ago stopped waiting for an answer.
“I was really hoping to get this part,” said Kluge, and not just because he gets to come to practice in pajamas and slippers. The outgoing, confident sophomore said it is a challenge to play the wounded, unsure Daniel.
Senior Maura Carr plays Glory, a woman who travels to Almost to see the Northern Lights as a farewell to her recently deceased husband. Shin plays the young man whom she encounters.
“It’s been one of the most challenging shows I’ve been in,” said Shin.
While each actor’s rehearsals are fewer and shorter than for many larger productions, nearly every cast member in “Almost, Maine,” essentially has a lead role.
“The focus is all on you,” Shin said.
“Almost, Maine” looks at love from many different vantage points. And like love, not all of the views are pretty.
“They make you laugh and cry,” said Perconti. “The scenes have meaning to them.”
“I think people are going to love it,” she said.