WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Feb. 12, 2019 — The Hilltop Players will stage the comedy “Almost, Maine,” by John Cariani, Feb. 14 – 17 in its Black Box Theatre space, located in the Hall of Fine Arts.
Directed by John Hennen, the play consists of a variety of scenes set in the far north, on a cold, clear winter night in the fictional town of Almost, Maine.
“It’s a play about love and falling in and out of it in unexpected and hilarious ways,” said Hennen who is a longtime adjunct faculty member in the theatre department. “The intimate setting in which we are staging the comedy will make it even more fun for our audience and actors alike.”
In the theater world, a black box is a simple space with painted black walls and a flat floor. The Black Box Theatre at WLU is a former classroom (F210) and is used for performance as well as dance and theater classes.
Hennen shares below a few more facts about himself and the production:
Q. How did you get into theatre and directing?
A. I was a pre-engineering major and I got cast in Oklahoma and that was the end of engineering for me. (Hennen is an alumnus of West Liberty and was inducted into the WLU Wall of Honor for his professional achievements in 2017.)
Q. What is the best thing about directing a college performance?
A. College kids are energetic and want to learn. They bring a lot to the table and to the performance.
Q. Why did you choose “Almost, Maine”?
A. Well, we were going to stage some comedic scenes and since it’s Valentine’s Day week, this is the perfect choice. The whole play is about love and all the complications. It’s a funny show, a good show. The age-range of the characters too, match up with our students.
Q. Can you give us any information about the cast?
A. Everybody is enthusiastic about the production. It’s a strong cast. Seventeen actors and most of the scenes are two or three people. Each scene is small, so it’s perfect for our space.
Q. Why should people come see “Almost, Maine”? What can they expect?
A. I think it’s one of the best date plays ever. It’s a fun romantic evening.
Seating is limited due to the nature of the Black Box classroom space.
“We’ll have around 50 seats available. But this is a great space for this show, since the intimacy between actors and audience allows for a more empathetic response to the dialogue and action,” Hennen said.
Tickets for the play are available through Brown Paper Tickets online or at the door. Curtain is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 14 – 16 and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17.