By Kelly Kennedy, Senior Writer
The Manhattan College Players performed “Almost, Maine,” as the student slot this spring semester. The show premiered March 3, and performed four times over that weekend with the show closing on March 5.
“Almost Maine” was produced entirely by students without any faculty help. The play was proposed by senior communication and political science student RJ Giannicci.
“Almost, Maine” is a collection of nine short love stories that intertwine to create the larger plot.
“A common theme between each one of the stories is love, relationships and connections, each different form love can take.” Giannicci said. “There’s not necessarily a main plot, just a bunch of little stories all about love and the small town.”
The show was a great success, with two of the three nights being sold out.
“I think the performance was perfect, our set designers and stage crew really outperformed any expectations any of us could have,” said senior cast member Michael Sperduto. “The effects, stage, props they produced, and scene transitions, were nothing short of extraordinary. My peers all perfectly understood their roles, demonstrating great synergy with their partners, and giving their own unique take on their roles.”
Sperduto stated that there was a good turnout and that the support and engagement from his peers meant alot to the group after hours of preparation and rehearsals.
“It was great to have an active audience, hearing their laughs, seeing that people took the time to see a student run production, and the joy that they had at the end was worth all the hours rehearsing,”said Sperduto.
The play was written by John Cariani, and it is suspected that he attended and enjoyed the production.
“Apparently, the playwright John Cariani, who lives in the Bronx, showed up one night and he loved it,” said Gianicci. “One of our actors, Jill, got approached outside by two of the people that attended with the playwright and came up and said [Cariani] was there, he saw it and he loved it. So that’s great.”
Giannicci has been in Players for his entire Manhattan College career, working his way up to director.
“When you’re a director, you know you’re conducting the orchestra, you tell each instrument how you want them to come in and how you want them to play, how you want them to feel and you try to give that to the audience,” Giannicci said. “So that’s really what I love best about being a director is that I can conduct the entire orchestra. I don’t just have to stick to my one little part.”
As the show has come to a close, students involved are grateful for the experience and people they met while working on the show.
“I love having a community with others who enjoy theater and acting, everyone is extremely kind and welcoming. My favorite part was meeting new people and getting to spend time with the entire cast backstage. Seeing the show come together and enjoying each other’s presence was really fun,” said freshman Aaron Schoepf.
Players have created a family atmosphere for those involved. For sophomore Olivia Appel, it is something very special to her.
“Players have played a big role in my family,” she said. “My grandparents met in players, and my aunt used to be a part of every production during her four years at Manhattan. So I’m glad that I am able to continue the tradition of making memories within Players for our family,”
Players is a welcoming environment, where all Manhattan College students are invited to audition, regardless of acting experience.
“There is no experience required. If you have never done theater once in your entire life, like a couple of our actors have, it does not matter.” Giannicci said. “You go in, you audition and you have a good time. And while I can’t promise a part, there is always room in Players for help.” Anyone interested in getting involved in Players can email email@example.com for updates on audition times.