almost, maine

Daniel George and Kaitlin Anderson are just two of the stars of RLT’s ‘Almost, Maine’ which opens Friday at the DeSoto Theatre and runs through Sunday. / Contributed photo

‘Almost, Maine,’ Rome Little Theatre’s winter romantic comedy, opens Friday.

On a cold, clear winter night, under the magical spell of the northern lights, the residents of the mythical town of Almost, Maine experience the joys, wonders, and heartache of falling in and out of love.

In nine stories, these characters express the realness of companionship and the rawness of the human heart.

The stories of the seven directors leading the cast are what makes this an unprecedented production for RLT.

‘Almost, Maine’ is the first production of the Rome Little Theatre Directors’ Lab. The Directors’ Lab is a dynamic new program for first-time directors that covers the art and practice of directing in a community theater setting. This combination of directing seminar and hands-on workshop allows a small group of emerging directors the opportunity to develop skills in the areas of leadership, design, composition, research, communication, auditions, budgeting, marketing and more.

“The most valuable thing I have learned from the Directors’ Lab is everyone sees things a little differently, and that’s ok,” said Todd Williams, director of ‘Seeing the Thing.’ What I would do is not necessarily what someone else would do, but that doesn’t make it wrong. Every director has their own vision.” 

Led by local director Chris Davidson, the seven participants of the Rome Little Theatre Directors’ Lab spent the first half of the program in a series of discussions and exercises. In the second half of the program, participants applied their skills to direct the scenes of “Almost, Maine.”

Justin Karch, director of ‘Sad and Glad,’ explains that learning to direct a show involves a lot more than just guiding actors.

“It involves a lot of set planning, promotion and rehearsal scheduling, and many other background aspects that people who come to the show never see. My biggest challenge has been questioning my own decisions.”

Overwhelmingly the directors have felt most rewarded in seeing their ideas and vision come to life and working alongside other talented and creative individuals.

“I hope the audience comes away with the thought that love is not easy and is complicated,” explains Alison Karch, director of ‘Getting it Back.’ Not everyone has the same story and love takes different forms. But at the end of the day, love is magical when it is found and takes work to keep it.”

Reflecting on the past few months, Maegan Williams, director of ‘Her Heart’ shares that this journey has taught her many things, “but most importantly: Cherish the ones you have, love them wholeheartedly, and always persevere, for you never know what magic lies ahead.”

“Almost, Maine” is directed by Chris Davidson and the RLT Directors’ Lab participants.

The show will take the stage at the Desoto Theater Friday through Sunday and Feb. 15-17. Performances will begin at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays.

Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for students and seniors, and $12 for children. Tickets can be purchased by visiting romelittletheatre.com or by calling the Rome Little Theatre box office at 706-295-7171. Tickets prices do not include tax or processing fees.