Hinsdale Central looks at love, Maine-style
Jake Berg (from left) as Jimmy, Taylor Hayes as the Waitress and Ele Hajermoser as Sandrine rehearse "Almost, Maine" for the Hinsdale Drama Club's play. | Rob Hart~Sun-Times Media
If you go
Showtimes: 7 p.m. Sept. 20, 21, 22. 4 p.m. Sept. 21.
Where: Hinsdale Central auditorium, 55th and Grant streets.
Tickets: $7, may be reserved at (630) 570-8165.
Updated: October 21, 2012 1:25PM
HINSDALE – Students in Hinsdale Central High School’s Drama Club devoted time over the summer rehearsing for their first production of the school year.
“Almost, Maine” consists of nine scenes that take place during one evening in the town of Almost, as imagined by playwright John Cariani. The scenes tell of love and relationships.
“The people almost fall in love, they almost break up,” explained Christine Hicks, Central’s drama director and English teacher.
“I had another play in mind, but when I saw the quality of the auditions, they changed my mind,” Hicks said.
She decided the students should tackle “Almost, Maine,” because it’s more challenging and has more male roles.
Many of the students will perform two different roles over the course of the four performances, which start today (Thursday) and end Saturday. Only two or three characters appear in each scene.
Taylor Hayes, a senior from Oak Brook, plays a waitress this evening and the character Marci on Friday and Saturday.
“Mrs. Hicks gave us this really cool opportunity to get more of an understanding of the play by playing two different characters,” Hayes said. “And you get to work with different people” in the different scenes.
The roles were cast in June and the students had only one or two rehearsals before the school year ended. Over the summer, however, the actors in each scene got together in small groups.
Consequently, they had the full summer “to get fully in the character’s mind,” Hayes said.
Once school started, they brought it all together with full-cast rehearsals and live music.
“The music makes all the difference,” said Tom Kalapurakal. “If we don’t get a laugh at a certain point, the music helps us out.”
Max Cornell, a Hinsdale senior, composed the music for the show and will perform it with Carl Lamoureux and Kelly Hanneman.
“I was at an interesting point in my life when I was working on this” over the summer, Cornell said, so the play resonated with him. “It wasn’t difficult to see the emotion in each scene and relate to it.”
During rehearsal Sept. 13, the students reacted with genuine laughter and applause to performances they had perhaps not seen previously.
“It’s so non-judgmental,” unlike a lot of musical theater where there can be a ”certain clique-iness,” said Claire Baiocchi, a Hinsdale junior.
She credits the drama director with creating that atmosphere.
“Mrs. Hicks is not judgmental, and she expects you not to be judgmental,” Baiocchi said.
Also, different characters appear in every scene, so “no one is in the spotlight and everyone is in the spotlight,” Baiocchi said.
Other students praised Hicks ability to draw the best performance from them.
“There’s what you think you can do and what Mrs. Hicks has decided you can do,” Michelle Owens, a junior, said.