Almost Maine: Drama Students Return to the Stage

Mariana Arboleda, Features Editor

With two-night performances of “Almost Maine” on November 19 and 20, the school’s drama club officially re-opened theatre doors to the public for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.  As the pandemic continues, in-person performances are important not only for the community but also for theater kids, who haven’t had the chance perform live in any school production for almost two years.

“Getting to work with such talented individuals was really amazing,” said Michell Hernandez, an 11th grader and the actress who played the character Gayle. She, along with the other cast members, agrees that the play helped her remember how it is to work with other performers after such a long time.  

“The experience was amazing,” Mitchell said. “I met a bunch of new and kind people.”

The play helped establish strong bonds between the students after the long period of online school, when socializing was not very possible.  The strong chemistry, teamwork, and hard efforts of the cast members shows all throughout the rehearsals which contributed to the great performances. 

The cast of “Almost Maine”: Michell Hernandez as Gayle, Arianna Ortiz as the Waitress and Shelly, , Arlyssa Rosario as Lendell, Taina Bruno as Sandrine, Alyson Diaz Montiel as Jimmy, Mmesoma Wright as Man, MariAlba Adames as Marvalyn, Deasia Valdemar as Glory and Suzette, Kimberly Donis as Deena, Max Cabrera as East and Phil, Natalia Canela as Hope, Aurora Portillo as Marci and Ginette, Susana Landaverde as Shelly, Charlie Flores as Steve, Pedro as Pete. Joseph Palacios

Arianna Ortiz, an 11th grader who plays characters, the Waitress and Shelly, is another cast member who agrees that the whole experience brought her memorable moments.  

“If we were together, then it was a great laugh for everyone.”  

She also says that every moment spent together felt “very familiar,” and every experience they had together was “very healing.” Such strong bonds and friendships were all thanks to the play’s production that created a friendly and safe environment for students to be able to develop and showcase their skills. 

The play focuses on a series of love stories told from various perspectives of different characters. It tells the story of Pete and Ginette, two lovers who had been dating for a long time; East and Glory who casually meet one day in East’s backyard; Jimmy who meets his ex-girlfriend Sandrine who he hasn’t gotten over yet in a restaurant where he meets the Waitress; Gayle and Lendall, longtime girlfriend and boyfriend; Deena and Shelly, two best friends who end up falling for each other; Phil and Marcy, a hard-working married couple; and Hope who travelled the world and returned to visit her past lover.  

The play encapsulates every story over a period of about ten minutes each, on a Friday night in the middle of winter. Each story explores the feelings of heartbreak, misunderstanding, frustration, hopelessness, and anger while also conveying the true feelings of love and the different pathways to finding the one for each person depending on their circumstances.  

Joseph Palacios

“I think many would like the comedy, and the relativity of the actual characters,” said Michell. This is because the play displays feelings of love and frustration everyone has related to at least once in their lifetime.  

In fact, one person who watched the play stated how many of the stories displayed were very relatable to her own life, and she felt it was absolutely delightful to see her whole life represented in one play.  

“The audience could feel our heart as a whole cast,” said Ortiz. “I think that warm feeling can be treasured by all.” 

Backstage members Ericka and Valerie Henriquez both agree on how the experience was enjoyable and how they were able to learn new skills through rehearsals by helping with technical work.  

I came in not knowing how to do much, but I left knowing how to set up mics, the secret on how to properly hide the mics and how to set up speakers,” said Ericka Henriquez, a junior who heard about the production of the play and was instantly interested as it is one of her career choices.  

Valerie Henriquez, also a junior, contributes by saying how great it was to be able to bond with her sister who is now a senior and close to graduating. 

The play has been proven to be a total success from the amazing feedback received from the audience thanks to the organized management of the play, the beautifully presented plot of the cast members, and smooth production work of the backstage members behind the scenes.