Almost, Maine


photo by Talania Wilson

Emily Vo and Shelly Tan acting out scene 5

by Talania Wilson, Staff Writer

  Cypress High School’s theater presented Almost, Maine on February 10-11, 2022. This play is different from their last one, 10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse, because it’s a romance comedy, with 8 scenes each featuring a different couple. The show was very popular with students and staff.  Assistant Principal Sean Pfeiffer said, “I enjoyed watching our performers on stage. I appreciate the work and effort of the tech crew and stage managers.” He continued by praising Julian Aispuro, who wrote some of the show’s tunes saying, “I was impressed by the music, since some was composed by a student.”

Scene 2 is about two people that broke up around two years ago and see each other for the first time, but he still has feelings for her and she doesn’t move on. Evan Nguyen, and Annie Ho, are the main actors in this scene. They say that it is difficult to make this scene not awkward, because of all the physical parts, like getting up and sitting down. But Ho says,” reading and saying the lines are easy, but making it feel real is hard.” To practice for this scene, they just get the feel of the play on stage, but off stage is where they work more on the physical part. But in the show you couldn’t tell they had a hard time making it feel real. 

The third scene of the play is about someone who can’t feel pain meeting a girl who hits him in the head. At the end of the scene he does feel pain, because he falls in love with the girl.  The actors playing are Aispuro, and Savannah Shaddow. The way that both of them would describe the play is, “awkward very awkward.” Aispuro joked, “It’s not hard to play this part because I’m already kinda dumb.” When they were asked if it’s difficult to play a role where two people fall in love Shaddow said, “ Not really because they’re already good friends.” Then Aispuro followed up with, “Yeah there’s some chemistry.”  They were both very excited for the play. Shadow said, “This play has a lot more lines than the last, and is more intimate.” 

The fourth scene is acted by Chris Moore and Emil Murray. It’s about a couple, and the boyfriend is confused about what his girlfriend wants, and the girlfriend thinks he knows what she wants from him, but he doesn’t. Murray said, “it isn’t hard to play this role because I’m naturally an overthinking person.” But for Moore he said it was the opposite, he said, “ I’ve never been in a serious relationship, so it was difficult playing a boyfriend, so it’s difficult to have this intimacy.” But the way he is overcoming this difficulty is by rehearsing the hug, which wasn’t too awkward, because they were already friends; they have just never hugged before. 

Scene five is different from the other scenes because actors Emily Vo, and Shelley Tan, are playing the role of two best friends who  have terrible experiences dating men. One day, when they were talking about how bad their dates are, one of them reveals that they love their best friend, but she denies it. Until she falls, physically falls on stage to symbolize falling in love with each other. And what’s making this seem different from the others is that it’s not a girl and a guy falling in love, it’s two girls falling in love. When they asked if this thing was difficult if these roles were difficult to portray they said yes it’s very difficult because it is the physical aspect as in falling and walking on the stage and there is also the aspect that they’re not in love with each other. Tan said, “The difficulty about the falling scene is that it’s hard to coordinate because we have to look each other in the eye then fall so it’s difficult to coordinate it.”  Vo said, “ It’s difficult because I’ve also never been in love before.” It was beautifully executed on stage, even though they had a difficult time with their scene. 

Emil Anesi, and La Muir Metoyer are the actors in scene six. This scene is about a couple that is in a dysfunctional marriage There’s a lot of arguing in this team and Metoyer said, “that it was difficult at first but after I got to memorize my lines it was easier.” But Anesi said, “I’m good at arguing so I didn’t have any problems.” To practice, they yelled at each other, and they also just “took a day” to form chemistry. Metoyer feels like, “this play is more based on the foundation of love and couple.” 

Scene seven is about a girl going back to her hometown and sees the guy she used to be with and she wants to get back together with him but he moved on.The actors in this scene are Jenny Vu and Chantal Mitco and they both would describe this play as emotional and heartbreaking. For Mitco, she said her role was difficult because, “It has hard emotions to portray and I have a lot of long monologs, and it’s hard because we’re all in school right now so it’s hard to portray how someone would feel after high school.” Because Vu is playing a guy and she is a girl it’s difficult for her, she said, “Of course it’s difficult playing a guy because I don’t look like a guy, I don’t sound like a guy, and my character is Daniel, so it is hard to act like a Daniel.” 

The last scene is scene eight with actors Eric Sandoval, and Hailey Lopez. In their scene there is a guy that really likes the other character, and she doesn’t understand love until he kisses her. Lopez said, “ we have a rule that when they’re in class they are always together so they won’t be awkward around each other. Lopez also said that, “ This play is different from the last because this play is more serious and it shows so many different forms of love.” 

The play is not just about the actors, it’s also about the people that work backstage. Ali Tompkins and Sarah Abubaker are the Artistic Directors, which means they’re in charge of all the makeup, props, costuming, set, and lighting. Tompkins said, “We started with nothing, so they had to get all the props.” The way they get props is by asking people to bring them in and getting them off Amazon. Tompkins said, “It’s stressful at times because I worry if the stuff is coming in on time.” 

Teacher Marianne Stewart said, “I am really proud of my students because so many of them missed a week of school because of Covid, so it felt like half the class was gone and when they came back the other half was out.” When she had students out with Covid continue to facetime and still rehearse. Stewart constantly said how proud of her students she is, because they tried so hard. She was also very hopeful that the play would go well, and it did. Almost, Maine was an amazing romance comedy, acted by the students of Cypress High School.