Ever feel like something is almost there, but not quite there yet?
That’s what the town — “Almost, Maine” — feels like everyday. It’s almost a town, almost. It’s also the name of the play the drama club members at Yelm High School are putting on this month.
“The play is about love, about losing love, about finding it again in some cases, or realizing that you aren’t supposed to be with the person you are with or maybe that you’ve been with that person for so long, that maybe it is meant to be,” said Beth Olson, director of the play. “Every story within the play tells some sort of aspect of love.”
These aspects of love, that in some cases are just almost realized are told through a series of nine vignettes.
“‘Almost, Maine’ is actually the most popular play for high schools in the nation right now,” Olson said. “It’s a big smash hit around the country. So being able to expose something to the kids that is really popular with a positive message about love seems like a win-win.”
Savannah Creamer is the drama club president, costume director for the production and she plays Marvalyn in the show.
“This play is about finding self, or new love in a town people have never even heard about,” she said. “So it’s discovering yourself in an unknown spot.”
Stage manager Ryan Tuggle makes sure that all the actors are in their places before any given scene starts and has a unique perspective on the show, saying that “it’s about finding love in a way that is meaningful to many people and doesn’t hurt others.”
Olson agreed with her students, and took the next step by comparing the town of Almost with Yelm.
“There are definitely similarities between Yelm and the town that is portrayed in the show, ‘Almost, Maine.’ I mean it’s almost a town, but not quite yet a town,” Olson said. “Yelm has made it onto the map, but they’re both small towns where a lot of people know each other and a lot of people grew up together.
“Yelm is a town where a lot of my students have been in the same classes with each other for years and their parents before them and sometimes even their grandparents,” Olson continued. “There’s definitely the sense of community and knowing each other in both the show and our town here.”
And like Yelm, Almost has the favorite community gathering places as a town like Yelm, she said.
“That’s something we see in the show — is a sense of community,” Olson said. “Everybody talks about going to the same places. A lot of characters reference each other even though they are not in the same scenes. So they all know each other.”
Creamer said that she would love to have a great showing in the audience at “Almost, Maine.”
“People would be supporting our community if they came, and there is a lot of talent in the show,” Creamer said. “I have never met a person who has walked out of one of our shows without a happy face on.”
Tuggle agreed, saying that the drama club has put together a great product this fall.
“I think people should come because they would be supporting us, and it’s just good fun — have a night with your family, enjoy a show,” Tuggle said.
“Almost, Maine” will show at 7 p.m. November 8-9, as well at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Nov. 10-11. All showings will be in the Yelm High School Performing Arts Center. There will be a $6 ticket price for any student in the district with an ASB card; an $8 ticket price for general admission; a $6 ticket price for senior citizens 65 years and older; and the tickets will be free for any member of the International Thespian Society.
Audience members will also get a slice of the extraordinary in each of the nine stories.
“The show depends on magical realism, which is a literary movement,” Olson said. “The basic premise is that everything about a scene or story is realistic, but there’s something in it that is a fantastic element. So you can have everything be completely normal and believable and that one thing gets dropped in there, maybe literally, that is like, ‘wait, what?’”
As it stands, Olson is proud of what her students have accomplished, and the concepts they have mastered, she said.
“I might be biased, but I think it’s awesome theater and these kids are so talented,” Olson said.