“Almost, Maine” is Almost—No, Completely Sold Out

Chattanooga Theatre Centre (CTC) is in the middle of their 97th season of Great Theatre with their Tony-nominated actor John Cariani’s play “Almost, Maine.”

The production follows nine stories of falling into and out of love under the northern lights of a fictional town almost anywhere you imagine. The play was created in 2004 at the Portland Stage Company and has traveled worldwide as its popularity grew. The director of this CTC production, R. Scott Dunlap, is personal friends with the creator and lends an inside perspective to the mind of Cariani.

The play offers a feel-good escape from daily life, and tugs at the heartstrings, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Throughout the play, viewers should expect to see love from a variety of perspectives, with moments of comic relief sprinkled in. 

Executive Director Rodney Van Valkenburg is excited for the people of Chattanooga to grace their auditorium.

“It’s the play that we need right now,” Van Valkenburg said. 

The CTC is taking all the steps necessary to put on a memorable performance while also providing the safest environment possible. They are at 20% capacity with a 380-seat auditorium, meaning they only sell 55 tickets per show. Social distancing is not only in place for the guest, but also the actors, who use optical illusions on stage. They have also incorporated a filtration system to kill germs as it recycles the air so guests can have peace of mind while sitting in a windowless room 20% full of strangers. The play is about love and does require some physical touch. To cut down on risks while staying true to Cariani’s vision, Van Valkenburg and the CTC hired real-life partners to play the characters in romantic relationships. 

“We have to keep our actors safe, but we have to keep our guest safe as well,” Van Valkenburg said.

Unfortunately, “Almost, Maine” is sold out of all remaining dates, but two more productions are planned for the season. March 19-28 CTC will perform their adaptation of the children’s book “The Wind in the Willows” and April 16-May 2 their 1940’s radio play called  “Vintage Hitchcock.” All information and ticket sales can be found on their website Theatrecentre.com

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