Adult students take to stage with Almost Maine

May 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

It’s an endearing and humorous view of love set on a cold night in Almost, Maine. And it’s the first production for our adult drama students.

Almost Maine is a unique show with a lot of heart, a lot of comedy and just enough drama,” said Metropolis Performing Arts Education Director Michelle Shaver. “Plus, the flexible cast size really fit our needs and allowed us to cast a really great ensemble of adult students.”

Classes for adult students are old hat at Metropolis, but this is the first time our adult students have tackled a full production. “We’re hoping to make this a regular opportunity for our adults,” added Shaver. Currently, Metropolis’ School of the Performing Arts (SOPA) has annual fall and spring productions for students in grades K-12. “We’ll weigh a lot of factors in moving forward on our adult productions,” said Shaver, “including the response to Almost Maine from the cast, audience, instructors and other students.”

For this first outing, Shaver selected Metropolis Resident Director and SOPA instructor Robin Hughes to direct. “We got very lucky that this fit in between other projects for Robin,” said Shaver. “And I can’t think of anyone better to bring out the sentimentality and charm of this show.”

“I will always teach in everything I do,” said Hughes of working with students on this production. “I don’t like thinking of actors as ‘better’ than one another, but rather on different points of their theatrical journeys. Teaching definitely keeps me interested in directing. Discovery with an ensemble of any level is always a unique experience.”

The challenge for Hughes was in the schedule, rather than the students, as they had just 10 rehearsals to perfect the show.  “That’s difficult for even the most seasoned actor,” said Hughes, “but we have an amazing group of students who have committed themselves so fully to the process and are working countless hours outside of rehearsal as well. I am amazed at their drive and appreciate their hard work so much!”

Hughes was hard pressed to choose a favorite moment or scene in this show – “that’s like trying to choose between children” she noted. Instead, she gave us a bit of a tease of the show: “I will just say that I love witnessing a trip around the world in the name of love – a tent pitched in the winter, a mistake turned happy accident for a villain, the drop of the other shoe, two old loves finding each other again, and a snowmobile strip down. You have to come to the show to find out what I mean.”

Almost Maine is playing at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre May 3 & 4. Tickets are free.

Interview with Director of Spelling Bee

July 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’ve been away on vacation and just got back. I was actually out of town during our announcement and onsale of Putnam County Spelling Bee. At that point most of the work was on our Box Office however. But in preparation for the launch, we built a Putnam County Spelling Bee Mini Website. On that site there’s a fun little interview with Director Robin Hughes, who also happens to be our Artistic Director and Director of Production and Casting. Here’s that interview…

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