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Community theater opens ‘Almost, Maine’ after sucessful return


Director Brandon Brown has an all-star cast and crew for Las Cruces Community Theatre’s (LCCT) upcoming production of “Almost, Maine,” by John Cariani.

The play opens Friday, Oct. 8, and continues for three weekends at LCCT, 313 N. Main St. The cast includes Nora Brown, McKensie Alexis Cabot, Rhiannon Michelle Hardin and Melis Derya White.

Brandon Brown is directing the play after his performance as Elwood P. Dowd in LCCT’s production of “Harvey,” which concluded a successful three-week run in September and marked the theater’s return to live performance after an 18-month pandemic-induced hiatus.

The crew for “Almost, Maine,” includes assistant director and stage manager Cindy Pitts, dramaturg Erica James, stage fall instructor Darin Robert Cabot, lighting designer Bekah Taulbee and property manager Lennie Brown, assisted by cast members. Heidi Brown is part of the backstage crew. The set-building crew is McKensie Alexis Cabot, Greta Burger, Larry Fisher, Marc Forbes, Doug Roby, Alecks Rundell and Alice Carron. Music and photos are by Mike Wise. Costumes are by Yamilex Holpe and cast members.

“Almost, Maine” is “actually nine short plays set in the fictional ‘unorganized territory’ of Almost, Maine,” Brandon Brown said. “They're basically about love and relationships.”

“It's a show that shines a spotlight on LOVE – long love, lost love, possible love,” said Pitts, who has starred in many productions at LCCT. “Watching these talented actors go through those emotions and thinking about how the audience is going to react is my favorite part of this process. A rollercoaster ride of emotions is to be expected and I hope the audience buys a ticket, straps in and holds on tight for a great show!”

“It's been exhilarating to get back to rehearsing for live, in-person theater again,” said cast member Nora Brown. “And ‘Almost, Maine’ gives us interesting, meaty characters to find and cultivate. I'm enjoying every aspect of it.”

“We had almost 700 people total come see the show,” said “Harvey” director Gail Wheeler. “Masks were worn backstage when actors were in close contact. I didn't have any complaints from the cast ... Everyone was vaccinated, no one got sick.”

“We only had a few unvaccinated people that were bugged about not being able to see ‘Harvey,’ but overall, only having vaccinated people attend really helped those in attendance to feel more protected,” said LCCT Board President Janet Beatty-Payne. “All of the patrons were very compliant with wearing masks and no one complained at all. While I was there house managing during opening weekend, many patrons expressed how grateful they were that we were only requesting vaccinated patrons to attend at this time. We are happy to report that no cast members, crew members, or patrons were exposed to Covid while participating in and enjoying ‘Harvey.’”

“Almost, Maine” will have performances at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 8-9, 15-16 and 22-23; and 2 p.m. performances Sundays, Oct. 10, 17 and 24.

Tickets are $17 for adults; $14 for senior citizens, students and military; and $10 for children.

Call 575-523-1200. Visit www.lcctnm.org.