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'Almost Maine' prepares for opening night

By Sheila Scott
On November 12, 2012

Vanguard Theatre's production of "Almost, Maine" opens Nov. 8 in the Student Life and Leadership Center on the UTM campus.

"Almost, Maine" is a comedy that includes elements of fantasy and magic. The play examines the events that take place on one cold winter's night, in the fictional town of Almost, Maine.

The play's overall theme is love: looking for love; discovering love; falling in love and losing love.

The play includes a prologue, an interlogue, an epilogue, eight individual scenes and no intermission.

"One of the main goals in Vanguard Theatre is to provide as many students the opportunity to get on stage, or to work backstage, as we can," Ken Zimmerman, director of "Almost, Maine," said.

With this goal in mind, "Almost, Maine" was chosen for its adaptability to allow several students this wonderful opportunity. The play has been adapted from the originally called for cast of four actors to a total of 19 actors. This number does not include the many behind-the-scenes opportunities given to students working on the production.

"Theatre brings people from diverse backgrounds together to create something that is their own, something that belongs to the group," Zimmerman said.

The cast of "Almost, Maine" is made up of a very diverse group of people including current UTM students, UTM alumni and people from the community. This group also is very diverse in their acting experience. For some in the group, this is their first time on the stage; however, many in the group are seasoned actors.

In the "Prologue," "Interlogue" and "Epilogue," Amanda Powers from Winchester, Tenn., plays Ginette and Matt Caldwell, a Theatre major from Martin, plays Pete.

In "Her Heart" Cody Jarman, a Theatre major from Clarksville, Tenn., plays East while Grace Carleton, a Theatre major from Kingston Springs, Tenn., plays Glory.

In "Sad and Glad," Jesse Capps, a Biology major from Oakland, Tenn., plays Jimmy; Stephanie Klink, a Theatre major from Bartlett, Tenn., plays Sandrine; and Carnecia Avant, a Theatre major from Memphis plays the waitress.

In "This Hurts," Coleen Hunt, a Theatre major from Henderson, Tenn., plays Marvalyn and Michael Chappell, a Theatre major from Union City, Tenn., plays Steve.

In "Getting it Back," Addy Wood, a Graphic Design major from Atwood, Tenn., plays Gayle and Michael Wilkins, a Graphic Design major from Memphis plays Lendall.

In "The Fell," John Nicholson, a Communications major from Centerville, Tenn., plays Chad and Jonathan Fisher, a Communications major from Trenton, Tenn.,  plays Randy.

In "Where it Went," Reuben Kendall, an English major from Union City, Tenn., plays Phil and Courtney Pearson, a Secondary Education major from Jackson, Tenn., plays Marci.

In "Story of Hope," Cyrus Morgan, a Theatre major from Lawrenceville, Ga., plays Daniel and Glenda Gayle Alexander, a Broadcasting major from Odessa, Texas, plays Hope.

In "Seeing the Thing," Rachael Cagle, a UTM alumnus from Waverly, Tenn., plays Rhonda and Casey Williams, UTM Theatre major from Clarksville, Tenn. plays Dave.

Kayla Ballard, a Broadcasting major from Munford, Tenn., is the stage manager for the play. This is one of the vital but often overlooked backstage positions.
There are many things that go into the production of a play that are often overlooked, such as the backstage positions and the technical positions. Some of these things are the set design and construction, makeup and costuming, lighting and sound, and stage management.

Melanie Hollis, lecturer of Visual and Theatre Arts, is the costume designer for the play. Tim Barrington, instructor and technical director of Visual and Theatre Arts, is the technical director and sound director for the play. He and his crew of students built all the scenery that is used in the play.

A special set called a unit set was required for this particular play because of the short scenes. Doug Cook, chair of the UTM Department of Visual and Performing Arts, designed this set to represent many different locales with minimum scenery changes; he is also the lighting designer for the play.

This play will take place at 8 p.m. on Nov. 8-10 and 3 p.m. Nov. 11.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and may be purchased at the box office two hours before the play begins.

For more information visit Vanguard Theatre's web site at or contact Doug Cook at

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