This weekend, Vernal Theatre: LIVE debuts another production, one that will also be marking a huge milestone. Its latest production, “Almost, Maine,” will be the 40th season production at the theatre.
“Almost, Maine” is a play by John Cariani that has become a popular selection for high school theatre companies over the past five years. It is a series of stories told in nine short plays that explore love and loss in a remote, mythical almost-town called Almost, Maine.
The production premiered at the Portland Stage Company in Portland, Maine in 2004. Now it has made it’s way to the Uintah Basin.
Vernal Theatre: LIVE began putting on season productions seven years ago and has been well supported by the commu – nity. Nashelle Jackson, di – rector of Vernal Theatre: LIVE, says that reaching 40 season productions means a lot to the theatre community.
“This shows that our community has been in – credibly supportive over the last seven years,” said Jackson. “We couldn’t do this without performers, audience members and donors and each year peo – ple step up to make sure that we can keep achieving amazing things.” The theatre faced ob – stacles in 2020 when the world was shut down by COVID and it was made it very difficult for public events to continue. Jack – son said the theatre was able to overcome those obstacles and reach this most recent milestone.
“It has been a rough couple of years,” Jackson said. “COVID guidelines restricted how we could put on shows and hin – dered how we could re – hearse. Inflation has also made the cost to build a set nearly double what it used to be.” Jackson shared that there were times they wondered if it would even be possible to put on another show but she says that people in the community continued to show up and help them think outside the box in order to create incredible productions.
The theatre has hope for a bright future. Jackson hopes that they’re able to put on at least another 40 shows.
“We want to continue to expand the people we are able to reach through the – atre,” she said. “Theatre is a place where people of all walks of life can come together-it builds com – munity, supports families, and enriches lives. We are going to keep making sure that it is accessible to everyone and continue to expand our reach.” “Almost, Maine” will be playing at Vernal The – atre: LIVE Jan. 13-16 and 19-21 and tickets can be purchased at https:// www.ticketor.com/vern – altheaterlive/upcomin – gevents?cat=Show%204.