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'Almost Maine' to Open Dec. 4 at UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: Dec. 1, 2008

poster image for Almost MaineEAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire department of music and theatre arts' production of "Almost Maine" by John Cariani will open at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4 in Kjer Theatre. Additional performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5-6 and 10-13, with a matinee performance at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 7.

"Almost Maine," directed by Laura Wayth, assistant professor of theatre, takes place on a Friday night in the dead of winter. In a series of loosely tied vignettes, we see the stories of the residents of Almost, Maine, who are falling in and out of love at an alarming rate. As hearts are broken and mended, the emotions, humor and humanity of the mythical town's residents are unveiled.

Wayth said she chose "Almost Maine" because she loves the play.

"It is lovely, truthful writing that actors and audiences can connect with easily," said Wayth. "It is sweet and sad and uplifting and genuine. And it's a world that I am happy to be in night after night, rehearsal after rehearsal."

Along with a great script, Wayth couldn't be happier with her cast and crew.

"I'm so delighted to have found, not only such a talented cast, but one that was so much fun to work with," Wayth said. "I really had a blast with them. And our designers have been great fun and a wonderful creative inspiration as well."

It is this combination, Wayth said, that will draw audiences to the show.

"I think when a show is this much fun to work on, it's that much more fun for the audience to come and see," Wayth said. "There's nothing better than actors who are having fun doing their work."

The cast for "Almost Maine" includes sophomore Shane Capaul, Mayer, Minn., as Pete, and senior Sean Christensen, Wisconsin Rapids, as Chad and Dave. Senior Brittany Gusho, Milwaukee, is Glory and Rhonda, and senior C.J. Krueger, Rochester, Minn., is Jimmy, Lendall and Randy. Junior Justin Johnson, Eau Claire, is Steve and Daniel; junior Charlene Lucht, Greenville, is Ginette; senior Ryan McDaniel, Oregon, is East and Phil, and junior Maggie Russell, Stoddard, is Sandrine and Marci. Senior Sheena Thompson, River Falls, plays Waitress, Marvalyn and Suzette, and freshman Daniel Zamarripa, Tomah, is Narrator.

"Almost Maine" is directed by Wayth, with seniors Tyler Morris, Stillwater, Minn., as stage manager and Dustin Haugle, Colfax, as assistant stage manager. Mallory Prucha Rishoi is costume designer and sophomore Kathy Staats, Greendale, is assistant costume designer.

Tickets, available at the University Service Center, 715-836-3727 or 800-949-UWEC are $10 for the general public, $8 for those 62 and older and faculty and staff, $6 for children under 18, and $2.50 for students with a university ID.

Tickets for all campus events also are on sale at the Service Center's ticket office in the main lobby of Haas Fine Arts Center. The ticket outlet is open from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and is closed during holidays and academic breaks.

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KJ/NW

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