Atif Ally Dagman’s ABC Performing Arts to stage John Cariani’s Almost Maine in Kolkata
ABC Performing Arts, a youth theatre group from the city, will stage their most successful play, Almost, Maine, for the first time on a public stage this weekend. Spread across three days, the production will narrate seven short tales of love, all set against the backdrop of a magical town called ‘Almost’, a fictional place situated in Maine, US.
“We wanted to bring Broadway culture to Kolkata by showcasing more than a single show to audiences, so that the people would want to come again, as the play changes with every show,” offers Atif Ally Dagman, a Media Science student from The Heritage Academy, and director of the play.
“Each playlet is 10-15 minutes long and there are seven shows, where we will change the order of stories each time, to make a different visual experience for the audience. This is the first time that we are attempting a kind of repertory theatre in Kolkata, with multiple shows that take place over a course of time,” informs Atif, who has been playing the role of one of Aladdin’s friends in the Disney live-action stage musical Aladdin, for the past two seasons.
Although the play has been adapted from American playwright John Cariani’s text of the same name, there are only seven episodes in Dagman’s adaptation. Not all of them are boy-meets-girl stories.
There are different kinds and types of love, which have been depicted through tales such as Her Heart, They Fell, Seeing the Thing, Sad and Glad, Story of Hope and others, which are held together with a frame narrative. These streams run parallel to the other stories, and surface or resurface in the form of a prologue, interlogue, and epilogue.
“Almost is a mythical town with regular people, but the interaction they have with each other is quite idiosyncratic and theatrical. Though these are simple human interactions, the way they play out is quite serendipitous and magical to look at,” adds Atif.
The entire cast of the play has been put together by Dagman, from among his friends, who are from different institutions in the city, such as St Xavier’s College, JU, Techno India, and Rabindra Bharati University, among others. The play uses Alex Turner’s soundtrack and the lights are coordinated by Sridip Bhattacharya.
Almost, Maine will be staged at Janus Centre for Visual and Performing Arts, at 5.30 pm & 7.30 pm from March 29 to 30, and at 3.30 pm, 5.30 pm & 7.30 pm on March 31.