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SEACT virtually performs “Almost, Maine”

SEACT's first ever virtual performance
SEACT presents "Almost, Maine"
SEACT presents "Almost, Maine"(Courtesy of SEACT)
Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 5:43 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - The Southeast Alabama Community Theatre (SEACT) is doing their first production since March due to COVID-19, but this performance will look a little different. SEACT will stream their performance of John Cariani’s “Almost, Maine” on Thursday, July 9 at 7:00 p.m. on seact.com. Viewers can watch safely in the comfort of their own home.

”It lent itself to a virtual setting where all the rehearsals could be at the comfort of our casts living rooms,” said SEACT General Manager, Jennifer Doherty.

There are no sets, but a few props and costumes are included which drive the viewer’s focus to the characters.

“It has to be very character driven so the way that the play writes write those characters and the quirks and idiosyncrasies they give each of those characters really matters, because you need the audience to invest very quickly,” said Doherty.

SEACT said they are committed to providing live theatre experiences to the community, while keeping public safety and concerns about virus transmission a priority.

The cast will not take the stage side by side, but instead their prerecorded scenes will be pieced together to bring the play to life for viewers. Kendell Shows, playing Marcy, said it is much different than performing for an in-house audience.

“It’s definitely different from a live performance, the energy, we really feed off the energy of a crowd and without a crowd there it’s just different,” said Shows.

The cast had to transition from performing in front of a live audience to a camera.

“When I perform on stage I’m always thinking about that very last person at the top of the balcony, can they hear me, can they see my facial expressions, can they see what I’m doing with my hands so my movements are always big and bold,” Shows said. “When you’re acting for the camera it’s more subtle.”

Shows said the cast still felt a sense of community throughout this journey.

“We had one zoom call where everybody who was involved got on together and that was fun, we could see our friends,” Shows said. “A couple of us did film our scenes together but we really wanted to show our community how SEACT responds to COVID. We’re going to adjust, we’re still going to bring you entertainment, we’re going to do what it takes, it’s going to look a little bit different but hopefully it’s just as entertaining.”          

The online event is free of charge, but SEACT said a suggested donation of $5 per viewer is appreciated.

To register to watch the online performance go to seact.com

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