Briar Woods Theatre’s Latest Play


Ryan Peele, Reporter

Briar Woods Theatre is back again this spring with their latest play, Almost, Maine. The production is actually composed of nine short, anthological plays that all deal with topics like love and loss, all taking place in a faraway, secluded town in Maine. The romantic comedy has received incredible amounts of praise and accolades, and was the most popular high school play of the last decade. 

The actors in the play are thrilled to return to the stage for their first major production since the musical Elf – based on the popular Will Ferrell movie – last December.

“I’m excited to really introduce the arts to theatre after such a long time, after two years of nothing,” said actor Ryan Vulgamore, “My character is Phil, and Phil’s having a little trouble with his marriage. You kinda see how that plays out, how it kind of evolves throughout the scene. It’s very well-written, I feel. [People] should come and see it. They should see it for the screaming; they should see it for the crying; they should see it for the laughter.”

Another actor, Anirudh Repalli, was excited to describe his role in the play, saying, ‘“My character is Steve; my character’s deal is that he can’t feel pain. Like physical pain. He’s a nice guy, but his brother’s super controlling of him. He meets this girl, and she hits him with an ironing board. That’s all I’m going to spoil, but it’s definitely worth seeing.”

Almost, Maine will also be the first Briar Woods play with maskless actors since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. After years of wearing masks during shows or not even having shows at all, this production, in-person and maskless, will add a new level of escapism that hasn’t been seen in Briar Woods’ plays in recent memory and signifies a return to normalcy in theatre.

Actress Olivia Martin discussed her character in Almost, Maine, saying, “My [role] is Sandrine. It’s [her] bachelorette party and she kinda gets interrupted by an old friend and you get to see her go through trials and tribulations. She’s in a very unexpected, uncomfortable situation.”

“I play Dave in the last scene of the show. He’s a guy who is in love with his best friend and wants to show her… with a romantic gift. He’s very awkward – the scene itself is very awkward. I love it,” said actor Parth Chaudhary, “As much as I love big musicals [like last fall’s Elf] I like this change of pace with a more intimate play.”

The Love Actually-style rom-com will premiere on Thursday, April 21st at 7pm, and will play at the same time on the 22nd and 23rd. There will also be a final encore performance on Sunday, April 24th at 2pm. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or via QR code on one of the many Almost, Maine posters, which are scattered throughout the hallways and in almost every classroom. Be sure to get your tickets as soon as you can!