CHATFIELD — Seven community theater companies will come together for two performances of one play at the Chatfield Center for the Arts.
Spring Valley’s Brave Community Theatre, Spring Grove’s Ye Olde Opera House, Lanesboro Community Theatre, Theatre du Mississippi in Winona, Rochester Civic Theatre, Rochester Repertory Theatre and Chatfield’s Wit’s End Community Theatre will perform “Almost, Maine” at the Potter Auditorium on Friday and Saturday.
The show, written by John Carilani, is a collection of nine stories. Each company has its own cast, costumes and director for each scene.
“The reason this script works so well for this kind of project is because none of the characters recur from scene to scene,” said Mike Speck, operations manager for the Chatfield Center for the Arts.
The actors came together for the first time Monday for a tech rehearsal. Speck worked to script the audio, and light cues and the transitions between scenes.
This corner of Southeast Minnesota is packed with talented actors, directors and dedicated volunteers in area community theaters, Speck said.
“If you look 15 miles away from any of these towns, and there’s another strong community theater history there,” he said.
On Friday and Saturday, people can see a sample of that talent from the region in one show.
“It’s theater tapas,” Speck said.
Not to split hairs, but Tom Barnes, Lanesboro Community Theatre board president, said the analogy would work better if each company presented a different show.
“But you can use the metaphor,” he said.
Barnes directed the two scenes Lanesboro Community Theatre will perform.
He said participating in the show was easy because two performances don’t require much time commitment, the company doesn’t have to build sets. Two Lanesboro Community Theatre actors already had one of the scenes prepared for an outdoor performance this summer in lieu of a musical due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Megan Hammon, board member of Brave Community Theatre, said the show was a chance for some of that company’s younger actors to meet and work with more experienced actors.
“I think this is a great idea,” Hammon said. “It’s also a good way to get our name out there.”
If you go
What: “Almost, Maine”
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 24-25
Where: Potter Auditorium, Chatfield Center for the Arts
Tickets: $8 at the door or online at chatfieldarts.org