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NECC Theater Presents: “Almost, Maine” 

Submitted by on October 5, 2023 – 3:30 pm

Haverhill, MA (October 5, 2023) – The stage is nearly set for the first Northern Essex Community College Theater performance of the academic year. “Almost, Maine” by John Cariani tells the story of people experiencing the life-altering power of the human heart. In a series of playful and surreal vignettes, relationships end, begin, or change beyond recognition as strangers become friends, friends become lovers, and lovers turn into strangers. And it’s all set to the backdrop of the aurora borealis in the fictional town of Almost, Maine.

Mirrorajah Metcalfe and Adrianna Neefus rehearsing “Almost, Maine”

“It’s so magical. There’s a surprise at the end of every vignette. By the second vignette, the audience is excitedly waiting for the twist,” says NECC Theater Professor and “Almost, Maine” Director Brianne Beatrice.

Beatrice knows the play well. “I love this show and really wanted to bring the magic to NECC,” she says as she recalls first staging it in 2010 with friends for community theater in Marblehead, MA, and then reprieving it at Salem State University.

The show stars seasoned NECC Theater actors Liberal Arts: Writing major Mirrorajah Metcalfe of Haverhill and Liberal Arts major Olivia Barberian of Candia, NH, alongside local actress Adrianna Neefus and NECC alum and professional actor Michael Zuccola ’07 of Haverhill.

Beatrice says the actors have enjoyed exploring the play, which presents some challenges with dialogue that is meant to overlap and characters that change with each vignette. “We’re finding the rhythm. I think they thought coming in, ‘This is a cute little piece,’ and when they started looking at the script analysis, they said, ‘Whoa, this is deeper than I thought!’ It’s a romance and a dramedy. You’re laughing and then you’re choking back the tears.”

“Almost, Maine” will be performed in the Chester W. Hawrylciw Theater, located on the top floor of the Spurk Classroom Building on the Haverhill Campus. Showtimes are October 26 at 4 pm, October 27 and 28 at 7 pm, and October 29 at 2 pm.  Tickets can be purchased here. General admission tickets are $20, students and seniors are $10.

The NECC Theater season will include a spring production of the play “Circle Mirror Transformation” by Annie Baker. Beatrice is also planning several guest actor and artist visits. To learn more about theater at NECC, contact Beatrice at