Come enjoy an evening in the town of Almost, Maine with Highland Community College’s latest production” Love/Sick” playing on stage Nov. 7-9 in Culbertson Auditorium.

Performances are at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7 and Friday, Nov. 8 with a final show, 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9. Tickets as always are FREE.

“Love/Sick” playwright John Cariani once said, “I love to welcome people into a world and then surprise them that they’re seeing stuff that’s a bit heavier than they anticipated. I like that experience as a theatergoer — to think I know right where I am, then find that I’m somewhere else and not even know how it happened. I’m interested in that.”

These interests and goals are certainly evident in Love/Sick, the second of his plays to be performed here at HCC; the first being the bewitching Almost, Maine from two years ago.

Indeed, “Love/Sick” often referred to as a darker Almost, Maine, is — in Cariani’s words — “a bit heavier” than might be anticipated. This is not to say that the play is not funny. It is — very — and yet, like love itself, the characters inhabit not only the blissful meadow but also the precarious minefield of this most powerful of human emotions.

Like Cariani’s other plays, “Love/Sick” is representative of the artistic genre of magical realism, where magic elements are a natural part in an otherwise mundane, realistic environment. In the theater, magical realism goes back to the classical Greek and Roman plays, where gods and seers and others with supernatural gifts appear and make unlikely things happen.

“Love/Sick” is composed of 10 vignettes, each exploring an aspect of love and its consequences. Describing the play, the writer has said, “a garden wall at home may conceal more secrets than the Great Wall of China.” So, leave your insistence on, “just the facts, ma’am” at home, exercise your willing suspension of disbelief, and be prepared to take flight and enter the world of Love/Sick, where anything and everything can —and does — happen.

The student cast of “Love/Sick”: Lydia Bedigrew of Effingham; Paige Collins of Osawatomie; Samantha Edwards of Sabetha; McKenzie Handley of Mayetta; Tanner Holte of Mayetta; Will Marshall of Whiting; Kent Robb of Westmoreland; Braden Shryock of Tonganoxie; Beth Streit of Seneca (understudy).

Backstage and technical assistance crew: Kaylee Brown of Horton; Rowan Crespo of Wathena; Sara Armstrong of Blue Springs, Mo.; Jazmine Christensen of Omaha, Neb.; Shea Duncan of Sabetha; Saryah Harris of Kansas City, Mo.; Gabi Simmons of Topeka; Candice Robinson of Kingston, Jamaica; Jacob Shackleford of McLouth; Haven Zent of Wathena.

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