Red Thread Santa Fe’s production of “Almost, Maine” is “an antidote to post-election angst,” contends director Janet Davidson. Described by the New York Times as “a whimsical approach to the joys and sorrows of romance,” the plays opens on February 10 at El Museo Cultural.
Written by award-winning actor and accomplished playwright John Cariani, “Almost Maine” is set in a fictitious town in rural Maine, far enough north that residents see the Northern Lights. In each of the nine vignettes, one or more of the characters are searching for something special.
In one vignette, a young man is convinced he must save himself from being hurt but realizes that sometimes love hurts. In another, two female friends who complain about men they’ve dated unexpectedly find their perfect mates. One woman, who wants to give her boyfriend all the love he’s given her, makes a startling discovery about her relationship.
“These are all love stories in which there’s either an ‘ah-ha’ kind of moment or the realization of what’s really going on in the relationship at the end of every vignette,” explains Davidson. “I’m sure audience members will identify with at least one of the relationships.”
A veteran of Hollywood, Davidson has directed episodes of “Murder, She Wrote”, “Cagney & Lacey”, “Judging Amy” and other television series. Surprisingly, she had never read or attended a performance of “Almost, Maine” when she selected it, explaining that “I won’t direct anything I’ve seen anyone else do. I like to create from the very beginning, with no influences from other people.”
In most productions of “Almost, Maine” there are usually 18 actors. Davidson chose to have only four actors-Patrick Briggs, Debrianna Mansini, Robyn Rikoon, and Hania Stocker-undertake all the roles. “I decided to give each of them a workout and a real challenge,” she adds.