Relationships warm up FHSU show


It's 9 p.m. in Almost, Maine. There's an arctic chill in the air, and the Aurora Borealis lights up the night sky.

On stage, the eight scenes of John Cariani's "Almost, Maine," presented by the Fort Hays State University Department of Music and Theatre, offer a glimpse into the hearts and minds of "people you'd like to know."

The show will be presented tonight through Saturday at 7:30 at FHSU's Felten-Start Theatre. A Sunday performance will be at 2:30 p.m.

Each of the show's 18 cast members has equal footing in the production, which features both seasoned FHSU actors and some "newbies," said director Tomme Williams.

"This show is about half new people, and about six real seasoned veterans and a couple of others," she said. "Once you read (the screenplay), it's hard to resist.

"I think the actors had a great time with it."

"It's completely different from any play I've been in before," said Gabe Bristow, Golden, Colo. sophomore, who plays Steve, a character suffering from a rare disease. "Most plays have long plots you have to try to follow, but each scene has their own plots and they tie together with each scene."

"It's light-hearted and carefree, but it has a really wonderful message," said Samie Pfeifer, Hays junior, who plays Marvalyn, the town gossip.

"I think it's very crowd enjoyable," said Lydia Fuqua, Jetmore senior, who plays Glory, a traveler with a secret past. "It's a lot like watching a movie, because the scenes flow really well together."

Each scene has its own outcome, with some relationships working and others going down the tubes.

Phillip Hartman, Pratt sophomore, seemed quite satisfied when relating the outcome of his scene with Lexi Weese, Abilene junior, who his character has "been into for a while," without her realizing it.

Does the relationship work out?

"Yeah," he said, smiling, "Mine works great."

Tickets for the production can be purchased at the box office, or by calling the FHSU Department of Music and Theatre at (785) 628-4533. The cost is $15 for non-students, $10 for seniors and $7 for students (elementary through college).