The New Deal Creative Arts Center Announces its Presence with Almost, Maine

The New Deal Creative Arts Center’s production of Almost, Maine

“There was nothing “almost” about this production of Almost, Maine.”  – Keith Dougherty

The cast of Almost, Maine 
Photo: Louisa Vilardi Photography

In their first adult theater endeavor, Hyde Park’s New Deal Creative Arts Center hit the mark and made a grand entrance on the local theatre scene with John Cariani’s Almost, Maine. Having established itself as a youth arts mainstay in the Hudson Valley with productions like Peter and the  Starcatcher, A Midsummer Night’s Dream,  A Charlie Brown Christmas, and A World War II Radio Christmas, New Deal can now add Almost, Maine to their list of successful and well-loved productions. This funny, heartfelt, and touching presentation of Almost, Maine marks New Deal as a local arts organization to watch closely as they continue to grow and flourish.

Almost, Maine is a series of short, seemingly unrelated scenes that all take place under a clear, starry winter sky at the same exact time in a town that’s “almost” in Northern Maine. The audience learns early on that the town is called Almost because the citizens never got organized enough for it to be acknowledged as an official town. The name of the town seems to have rubbed off on its citizens, as it appears to be a reflection of their romantic relationships. In this series of cleverly written scenes, we meet characters who are almost ready to pledge their love, almost ready to end their relationship, almost ready to bring their friendship to the next level, and almost ready to give their relationship another go.

“Story of Hope” – Austin Carrothers as Danny and Louisa Vilardi as Hope

With a simple, yet beautiful set, designed by Teresa Gasparini, spot-on sound design by Brandon Patterson, and a magical lighting design by Jeff Wilson, it was much more than the Northern Lights that lit up the stage at the Cunneen Hackett Art Center. Talented director, Tamara Cacchione, assembled a very competent, and versatile cast to portray the multi-faceted individuals in this character-driven play. The gifted cast transitioned from scene to scene seamlessly, and consisted of Teresa Gasparini, Joe Eriole, Louisa Vilardi, Austin Carrothers, David Sharbowicz, Josie Grant, Stephanie Blake, Nicholas John Salyer, and Steven Bendler.

This fantastical midwinter night’s tale did not only tug at your heartstrings, but has clear comic chops that also made you laugh. It is easy for an audience member to not only see themselves on stage, but friends and family as well. When a play is this relatable and you can undoubtedly identify with the character and stories, it truly makes for great theater. Unfortunately, this was a limited one weekend run for The New Deal Creative Arts Center, but luckily Clove Creek Dinner Theater has picked up this wonderful show. A handful of cast members from New Deal’s production will bring this heart warming production to Fishkill running from March 7 through March 24, 2019. With one performance already sold out, it is encouraged that you reserve your tickets quickly by calling Clove Creek’s box office at 845.202.7778 or visit their website: http://www.clovecreekdinnertheater.com

“Her Heart” – Teresa Gasparini as Glory and Joe Eriole as East

The New Deal Creative Arts Center is a non profit organization located in Hyde Park, NY. New Deal is a creative outlet exploring and celebrating all forms of art (fine, performing, visual, literary) through workshops, classes, special events, and performances. Their main focus is accessibility and  opportunity for artists and audiences of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.  As the New Deal was a new outlook and opportunity for the American people, The New Deal Creative Arts Center provides a new and exciting outlook and opportunity for artists and audiences. For more information, visit their website (www.newdealarts.org) and follow them on Facebook and Instagram @newdealarts.

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