The Stillwater Area High School (SAHS) Theatre Department opens its fall play Friday night.

SAHS students will perform the play “Almost, Maine” at the SAHS Auditorium, located at 5701 Stillwater Boulevard North in Oak Park Heights.

There are two weekends of performances: 7 p.m. on Nov. 1, 2, 8 and 9 as well as 2 p.m. showings on Sunday, Nov. 3 and Saturday, Nov. 9.

On a cold winter night, the residents of Almost, a fictional rural town in Maine, experience the magical power of the human heart, propelled by the mystical energy of the Aurora Borealis. Written by John Cariani, the play is a collection of playful and surreal scenes about relationships, love and loss.

SAHS Theatre Coordinator Grif Sadow said “Almost, Maine” is touching, joyful and humorous. It’s a great way to kick off the holiday season, he added.

“It’s a really great warm and fuzzy show,” Sadow said. “It really touches on moments in life, moments in love.”

Sadow said his goal is to expose SAHS students to as many types of theatre as possible and the department hasn’t recently produced a romantic comedy. With two-character scenes, “Almost, Maine” gives the theatre department the opportunity to delve into each scene individually, as opposed to a full play.

“It really allowed us to work on relationships and scene study,” Sadow said. “Since 2010, it’s the most high school produced play, even more so than “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

The production includes 17 actors, 25 technicians and 10 understudies, who have a special understudy performance at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9. Sadow said he decided to include an understudy performance for this play because there were a lot of talented students interested in performing.

“It was an opportunity to involve more people at the beginning of the season,” Sadow said. “This is an opportunity for them to work on their craft.”

With the Northern Lights as the backdrop, Sadow said “Almost, Maine” is a magical production.

“You really fall in love with the characters on stage and their relationship,” Sadow said. “It’s going to be a beautiful show.”

Adult tickets are $10, students are 5$ and senior citizens tickets cost $6. Purchase tickets in advance at showtix4u.com.

Contact Kim Schneider at kim.schneider@ecm-inc.com

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