By Claire Rupnow

Northland’s theatre club, 4th Wall, has been resurrected this year, and is off to an ambitious start. Club President Laura Loucks, pictured above, and Vice President Sadye McCloud, will be presenting its fall play, Almost, Maine Friday, November 11 and Saturday, November 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Alvord Theatre.

Loucks chose the play and will be directing this collection of vignettes illustrating the pleasant and not-so-pleasant aspects of falling in love.

“All of the scenes end right at the “aha!” moment, and leave you wondering what comes next for the two (or three) characters,” Loucks said. “It’s a really beautiful and emotional show that can have you in tears but also laughing out loud.”

The play consists of easy-to-relate-to characters in situations that may be familiar to many audience members. It may also feel especially familiar to locals since the play is set in a tiny Maine town on a freezing winter night.

“It takes place in a part of the country that’s very similar to here—a very remote, small town, where everyone knows or works for everyone else,” said Loucks, regarding why she picked this particular play.

Images from Rehearsals

There are also some more concrete connections, according to actor and 4th Wall member, Alyx Simon. “There are a lot of small businesses from Ashland brought up in Almost, Maine.”

4th Wall’s production takes some liberties with the play, subverting the intended gender roles in most of the vignettes. In the script, each vignette—save one—depict a man and a woman in some sort of romantic context. However, 4th Wall is doing things differently, in part because not many men are a part of the play, but mostly because 4th Wall has students of many different gender identities and sexualities.

“…Because of the nature of our school, we have expanded the definition of these relationships to include many forms of LGBTQ+ [identities]. I think this was a very good choice for this community, and the cast is really enjoying not being confined to traditional ‘male’ and ‘female’ roles,” Loucks said.

The play is unique for other reasons as well. “We have a few community actors who are joining us for this show,” Simon said. “We are excited to have them to represent the Ashland community as the students represent Northland College.”

The play is free and open to the public. If students are interested in joining 4th Wall, or in potentially helping out with lighting for the play, they should email Laura Loucks.

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