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The Tide

The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide


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Black Maskers present ‘Almost, Maine’ on short timeline

Courtesy of Erin Caplan
Senior Chloe Choi (Rhonda) and junior Noah Lechheb (Dave) try to guess the meaning of a painting in a scene. (Permission was obtained from photographer)

The Black Maskers put on a spectacular production of the charming “Almost, Maine” on March 15, 16 and 17. Watchers marveled at the show’s multifaceted portrayal of love, each relatable in one manner or another.

“In a nutshell, ‘Almost, Maine’ is a romantic play with a dose of magical realism. Nine loosely connected stories all take place on one cold midwinter night in a small town in Maine. This play addresses love – finding love, losing love, being surprised by love, the pain of love and more,” Black Maskers’ sponsor and director Emily Davis said.

Senior Cedar Dwyer portrays Chad, who explores the meaning of love. (Humsa Tammera)

Each of the nine stories is based on a different type of love, from a woman who has had her heart broken into 19 pieces to unexpected and even unrequited love. The audience gets a brief glimpse into the lives of these “lovers” in a manner that connects deeply to their hearts. 

The production was artfully put together in less than two months, starting from the interest meeting on Jan. 25, with the hard work of student directors, the board and Black Maskers’ approximately 215 members. The production’s casting, which occurred on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, is particularly interesting due to multiple storylines happening simultaneously. Since the play is features a diverse group of characters in a broken-up format, anywhere from four (two female and two male) to 19 actors (10 male and nine female) could perform the play while sticking to the intended storyline. Mrs. Davis, who is primarily responsible for casting, chose to cast 19 actors for this production. 

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Junior and publicity chief Ginger Speer works with the publicity team to create photo boards for the seniors, cast and crew. (Humsa Tammera)

This complex production was only possible through the efforts of multiple crews, including costumes, lighting, sound, props, makeup, the house, set construction, set decoration, running, publicity and the main board. 

“During my time in set decoration, my co-chief and I worked with Mrs. Davis and the assistant directors to make their vision of the set come to life,” senior and set decoration co-chief  Nitya Donthi said. 

The crews worked hard under the extremely tight timeline of only 6 to 8 weeks to prepare for opening night and create a show they were proud to present. 

“We are just really fortunate to have Mrs. Davis and Mr. Potvin with clear visions and competent crew chiefs who know their jobs really well,” senior and backstage manager Rushi Jain said.

Mrs. Davis chose “Almost, Maine” to accommodate the short timeline because its construction and design were less intricate. 

“The roles were shorter, the sets weren’t as large and complex to build, and the paintings were not as detailed,” Jain said. 

Additionally, this was technical director Andrew Potvin’s first show with Black Maskers, so the club wanted to account for the transition. 

Senior Hayden Heitzman puts up decorations to celebrate senior and sound chief Shriya Kalluris’ birthday. (Humsa Tammera)

“The show was chosen to be less technically intense as we didn’t know who was coming in,” Jain said.

However, Jain also expressed that Mr. Potvin’s contributions exceeded expectations. “He was truly amazing and incredibly knowledgeable in what needs to be done for the more technical crews. The transition went fairly seamlessly,” she said.

Even with the changes within the club, the drama club is a community, and many of its members feel a strong sense of companionship, causing emotions to run high as the school year ends. 

“Senior night was super emotional, and so many people were crying backstage. It was a really fun way to celebrate our time in the Black Maskers,” Donthi said. 

As the seniors prepare for their plans after high school and look toward what is next, they reflect on all they have accomplished within the Black Maskers community and are hopeful about the club’s future. 

“I’m sad to be leaving, but I know the club’s going to be in really good hands,” Jain said.

If you would like to voice your opinion on an issue you feel is relevant to our community, please do so here. Anyone is able and welcome to submit a Letter to the Editor, regardless of journalistic experience or writing skills. Submissions may be published either online or in a print issue.

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About the Contributor
Akshya Mahadevan
Akshya Mahadevan, Assistant Arts Editor
Akshya Mahadevan is a senior and is in her fourth year with The Tide. She is very excited to be an Arts assistant editor this year! In her free time, she loves listening to her ridiculously long Spotify playlist, learning dance choreographies and reading good books.