Two SBCC student-directed productions are hitting the stage

Sean+McGee+%28left%29+and+Enrique+Bobadille+rehearse+their+scene+from+%22Almost%2C+Maine%22+on+Wednesday%2C+April+27%2C+in+the+Jurkowitz+Theatre+at+Santa+Barbara+City+College%2C+Santa+Barbara.+The+play%2C+which+opens+on+Wednesday%2C+May+4%2C+has+a+common+theme+of+love.

Kailey Wilt

Sean McGee (left) and Enrique Bobadille rehearse their scene from "Almost, Maine" on Wednesday, April 27, in the Jurkowitz Theatre at Santa Barbara City College. The play, which opens on Wednesday, May 4, has a common theme of love.

MEGAN TONTI, Arts & Entertainment Editor

City College’s advanced acting class is premiering their annual student-directed production, and will perform “Almost, Maine,” and, “We Could Be Anything,” at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4, in the Jurkowitz Theatre.

“Almost, Maine” is a play that entails nine short plays surrounding the common theme of love, whether it’s being “in love” or out of it.

“They’re all really different,” said Aaron Mendoza, City College student and director. “They all have to deal with love and different capacities of heartbreak.”

The play is a composite of different students, and is put on by students as their final project.

“There are about 10 different directors and so you’re seeing about 10 different projects in the making,” said Katie Laris, associate professor and co-department chair of theatre arts.

Playwright John Cariani wrote “Almost, Maine” in 2002 in which it was first performed at Portland Stage Company.

“It is what a series of what I like to call ‘playlets.’ They’re short plays with most of them having two characters,” said Laris.

In the same night they will premier the student-written production, “We Could Be Anything,” by Gustav Högmo, a City College student and film production major. He has written short films before and is currently working on his fourth.

The play revolves about two high school students, who are in their last week before graduation. They used to be friends, but when they moved onto high school, the girl became more popular and one of the “cool girls,” while the boy was considered to be more of a “loner.”

“I started writing [the short play] in December,” said Högmo. “I emailed Katie and asked if it was okay if I wrote my own thing and she said ‘you can write it, but I can’t guarantee.’”

For many of the students, this is the first time they are directing a play.

“I have very minimal experience in directing, but I think that it’s really great because you get to get your ideas on how you see the show, and how you read the show, and you get to basically push your ideas on everybody else,” said Kayla Steele, City College student and director.

The students will also be using materials from the theatre arts department and things they find around their own homes.

“For the most part, we didn’t need a budget for our [short play] specifically,” said Steele. “The budget is just out of pocket and it’s kind of whatever you really need and what you can afford.”

The play will be hosted until Friday, May 4, and is free for students.

“It’s a mix between funny, serious and sad,” said Mendoza. “It’s a well-rounded play, I love it.”