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      MAGICAL REALISM IN Almost, Maine by Sarah Duterte

      bl09jd762ALMOST, MAINE explores different sets of "couples" in the same fifteen-ish minute period of time in the small, remote town of Almost, Maine. Check out some of the other blog posts here for some in-depth looks at some of the scenes/characters. I first read AlLMOST, MAINE shortly after acting in my first production with Hamilton-Gibson. My co-star had directed the play for a local community theater group (Troy, PA) and she emailed me a copy of the script to peruse for fun. I was immediately enchanted by the premise; the small town setting hit close to home, and the relationships within are unique and intriguing; but the thing that captured my interest most was the magical realism.

      "Magical Realism" is a literary term most often associated with Latin American writings. Essentially, the idea is that all "normal" rules of life and how the world works apply, but something magical, without rational explanation, appears in order to stir things up. The magical element is accepted by the characters; it is not rationalized or wondered at. The magical element does not necessarily make things better, it just... is. There is something enchanting about a world where reality is tweaked just a little to see what will happen.

      Every scene in ALMOST, MAINE offers a different element of magic to its situation, and each element of magic uncovers a deeper reality for the characters involved. Metaphors are made real, and our job as actors is to help the audience accept these wild elements as readily as our characters do. There is something in that radical acceptance that allows us, the audience of this work, to reach into realities deeper than scientific realism, to the universal human experience: heartbreak, love, loss, and wonder. I hope, when the production hopefully goes on in July, our audience will join me in suspending "how?" questions and instead ask, "what is the deeper truth here?" because that is where I think the true beauty of the production lies.

      (Sarah was first seen on HG stage in PROOF, and as Watson in MISS HOLMES and other plays, and is on the Artistic Planning Committee.)

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