The Robinson Players’ “Almost, Maine” Warms Hearts in Cold Winters


Sitting down in Gannett Theater on Monday night, I was eager to have my heart warmed in this (especially) cold climate. I had seen Almost, Maine plenty of times before since it is a frequent production across high schools in the North East, likely due to the New England setting and well-written two-person scenes. That is to say, I knew what I was getting into sitting down that night. Even so, I walked away with a pleasantly warm feeling that lasted far longer than the walk back to Frye Street that night. This is much in part to the wonderful work of the cast and crew from the Robinson Players, Bates’s student-run theater club, who brought some wonderful student-produced art to the stage. 

Almost, Maine consists of several incredibly well-written two-person scenes, ranging from hilarious to heartwarming to heartbreaking. Taking place in the titular (almost) town, where everyone seems to know everyone, despite some claiming not to, we follow a variety of couples as they fall in and out of love with each other. 

Heavy applause must be given to the cast who was able to portray so many different characters, some even in back-to-back scenes. It shows a level of endurance among the actors to be so fluid in switching characters so to see them all performed with such energy and sincerity was a feat in itself. 

A stand-out performance was done by actors Josh Sherman ‘25 and Mason Bunker ‘23 as they played bros turned budding lovers in a scene with so much slapstick and physicality that even I started to get winded while watching it. All through, they maintained great energy, diction and delivery that ultimately had me falling with them. They were joined by Jiayi Yang ‘25, Brandon G. Villalta Lopez ‘25, Lila Shamsi ‘26, Alison Robelen ‘25 and Jackie Coraci ‘26. All actors mix and match across scenes, bringing a strong amount of chemistry and enthusiasm that the Robinson Players are known for. 

Another significant area that I must call some serious positive attention to is the tech in this show. Frequently, the technical elements in a show go unnoticed, but the Robinson Players showed their prowess in technical elements that were characters of their own. 

I would like to give special recognition to the lighting designers, Christian Cabello ‘25 and Kendall Jones ‘25, who gave each scene an emotional and distinct visual tone that coincided with the emotional arcs therein. Working in tandem with that is the set design and construction teams who put together a simple but incredibly effective set that seamlessly transitioned between a multitude of settings. 

Perhaps where I saw the unified event of theater come together was with the cloth dressing back of the stage, hung above the set, that would later become an aurora borealis with help from the lighting. To support that technical flourish, I could tell all the actors were fully enamored with it, even if they were not directly looking at the northern lights. 

I often view strong theatrical productions as “unified events,” meaning strong cast and crew comradery and respect. It is the mark of a piece when all members involved carry an immense amount of passion. The Robinson Players have definitely produced a true labor of love with this performance, and it’s left me excited for their future endeavors and projects. Almost, Maine left me with a wholesome levity which gave me a bit more appreciation for the harsh Maine winters, especially when there are good people to share it with.