"Almost, Maine" Opens this Week in the Hartmann Center

November 7, 2011

The Department of Theatre Arts production "Almost, Maine" opens Nov. 10 and runs through Nov. 20. The romantic comedy, written by John Cariani, is about falling in and out of love in a small town. The production is directed by Doug Rosson and has a small cast of just three men and three women who will play multiple roles.

Junior Chloe Dzielak will play Hope, Marvalyn and Glory.

"Hope is a woman who grew up in 'Almost, Maine', and is returning to confront the man she left 10 years ago when he asked her to marry him," Dzielak said.

Marvalyn is a woman who meets a man who can't feel pain. Glory is a hiker with a broken heart.

Dzielak said working with a small group is unique challenges, and rewards.

"You learn how to work with people, which is a useful skill no matter what your future plans are. Working with the same group of people everyday for at least four hours a day really teaches you how to problem solve and compromise," Dzielak said.

Freshman Ashley Bendien will play four roles including Marci, a woman who is trying to raise her kids on her own while her husband is away working.

"Since he is always gone, Marci has time to think and worry about her marriage. They are becoming distant and Marci feels like she's watching her marriage crumble before her eyes," Bendien said.

Bendien will also play Ginette, Sandrine and Suzette, all while also working on another production, "New Faces." But this is what she's always wanted to do.

"Performing in theater is not a new dream for me. I've loved acting since the fifth grade, so I'm glad to finally be here as a theatre performance major and doing what I love!" Bendien said.

Both cast members are confident that the show will have an impact on the lives of those who see it.

"Just like life, nothing that happens in the production is entirely good or bad. I hope audiences will be able to watch the people of 'Almost, Maine' and find something that reflects who they are," Dzielak said. "In short, what makes this show so great is that the characters and stories are relatable."

"All of the characters go on such a journey. The audience will all want to be with a loved one by the show's end," Bendien said.

For tickets or more information call 677.2650 or visit http://theatre.bradley.edu.

Photos:   Slane feature:  Ashley Bendien and Jake Hayes; with story:  Chloe Dzielak and John Carroll

Story by Ivy Hillman

For additional information on the performance, follow the story link published in the Peoria Journal Star.   Linked with permission.