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Love in the cold

SMSU?drama department to depict love in the frozen north with Black Box production

April 23, 2011
By Cindy Votruba , Marshall Independent

MARSHALL - There are all kinds of love - new love, long-lasting love, lost love and unrequited love.

And in the upcoming production at the Southwest Minnesota State University Black Box Theatre, it will be love in a cold and snowy background.

The Southwest Minnesota State University drama club is performing "Almost Maine" at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the SMSU Black Box Theatre. The show is being directed by Christy Ellis and Brian Bertrand.

Article Photos

Photo by Cindy Votruba
Josh Johnson and Sonja Nelson rehearse a scene from “Almost, Maine,”?the upcoming show at the Southwest Minnesota State University Black Box Theatre.

The show is a romantic comedy that takes place during a Friday night in the fictional town Almost, Maine. Sonja Nelson, one of the actors in the show, said Almost is just a township.

"The citizens didn't get organized enough to become a city," Nelson said.

"Almost, Maine" is a collection of love stories that takes place as the Northern Lights shine above the township. Ellis said it is nine short plays about nine different sets of couples who fall in and out of love, which is portrayed by six actors. In all, there are 19 characters.

"It's about love in the cold," Bertrand said.

"It's definitely been a challenge for all of the actors, to push them out of their elements and try something new," Ellis said.

Ellis said the couples in the play are in different parts of their lives and relationships. For example, there's Gail and Lendall who have been dating for 11 years and are on the verge of finally getting engaged.

The setting is rural, Bertrand said, and audience members can relate in a way.

"They're simple-looking characters with a complex background," Ellis said.

This will be SMSU student Haley Jacobsen's first Black Box production. She's enjoying her time on the smaller stage.

"It's funny and it makes you think," Jacobsen said. "It's just one giant love story."

Jacobsen portrays three different characters throughout the course of the show.

"You kind of see that evolve in the play, discovering love, losing love, recovering love," Jacobsen said.

Some are of relationships just starting, as well as endings, Nelson said.

"They all don't end exactly happily, but they are left off with hope for the end," Nelson said.

Nelson said that "Almost, Maine" has a lot of jokes from the "small city with a lot of snow."

"It should leave you feeling happy, and hopefully come out learning something,"?Nelson said.



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