Two Cinnaminson High School seniors are directing a student-run play that opens this weekend with two shows for the public.
The play is Almost, Maine—nine short comedic love stories where the parts are not just played by high school drama veterans but student newcomers who have never been on a stage before.
“A lot of people in school are really good at acting and are really talented,” said Georgie Manera, one half of the student directing team. “More than half of our play is people who have never done anything.”
Directing has treated both Manera and her directing partner, Sara Waite, pretty well even though both come from acting backgrounds.
“It was a lot more work than we realized at first,” said Manera.
The seniors brought the idea to the school board after a teacher suggested they take on the feat. Rehearsals started in September and the actors—about 15 of them—get together just once a week for three hours.
“It was scary at first to see if it would be good,” Manera said. “People would say they didn’t know what they were doing.”
But Manera said the transformation has been apparent and it’s “really cool” to see the improvements.
“When you sit back and watch the final product,” Manera said, “it’s pretty amazing to see what they can do.”
Both Manera and Waite grew up with theater and Waite plans on continuing that in college. Manera plans to study business or marketing.
And even though the directing bug has bit both, Manera said her passion is in performing.
“I love theater,” she said. “I just wish I could burst out in song during the day—but that doesn’t happen anywhere.”
Almost, Maine—a play by John Cariani—will open tonight at 8 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 and will be available at the door.