Wilton High School presents Almost, Maine

Bryan Haeffele photos
For its fall play this year, Wilton High School will present Almost, Maine — a show about “the magical nature of relationships,” said the show’s director, Wilton High School English teacher Kevin Slater.

“It’s about how wonderful and fragile connections can be, the beauty of innocence, the wonder of development, the nature of nurturing and the ugliness of decay,” he said.

The show follows connections between the residents of a mythical town in Maine called Almost, following the release of the magical powers of the Northern Lights one cold, clear Friday night in the middle of winter.

Although it’s Slater’s first time directing a Wilton High School show, it’s not his first time in the director’s seat.

“I have been directing at local middle and high schools for more than 20 years. My last productions were at Weston High School,” said Slater, who has also worked at theaters like the Downtown Cabaret Theatre in Bridgeport, Gateway’s Candlewood Playhouse in New Fairfield and the Westport Country Playhouse in Weston.

Slater said he presented the idea of Almost, Maine to producer Marty Kozlowski last year.

“It is a beautifully crafted, funny romantic comedy with some very poignant moments thrown in,” he said, “and it’s the No. 1 produced play in high schools across the country.”

Although the show was written for four actors, Slater said, Wilton High School’s cast has 46.

“We double-cast the show and added an ensemble to do the scene changes,” he said, which not only allowed for the inclusion of more company members, but also the expansion of learning opportunities.

“For those audience members who choose to see the show more than once, it’s an opportunity to see the same character played in completely different ways and for scenes to be interpreted differently,” Slater said in a Wilton High School press release.

Wilton High School’s production of Almost, Maine also employs a dance ensemble — choreographed by Andrea Metchick — in order to “create a more interesting way to transition scenes,” said Slater.

Slater said his favorite part about directing the show has been “building it” and “helping the actors find the voice of their characters.”

“I actually don't care much about the actual performances [because] we know what we accomplished. To me, that is the beauty of a collaborative piece of art. If you don't enjoy the months of working on it, the shows are not going to make up for that,” said Slater.

“Having said that, it is very nice to see the parents and how proud they are of their child’s work.”

Slater said it’s been a “great pleasure” to work with “such a talented and fun group of students” and encourages people to come to the show.

“It’s thoughtful fun and the kids are doing a great job,” he said. “Plus, it would be terrible for them to do all this work and not show it off.”

Showtimes are:

  • Thursday, Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m.

  • Friday, Nov. 10, at 8 p.m.

  • Saturday, Nov. 11, at 5 and 8 p.m.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or online here.