The University of Maine’s theatrical group Maine Masque presented Daigs Daigneault’s submission of “Face Value” on Feb. 23 to 25 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. and Feb 27 at 11 p.m. It centers around Daigneault’s character of Tim, an anxious Eric Forman type character, trying his best to find the perfect way to propose to his girlfriend. Meanwhile his roommates are up to sitcom-type shenanigans. Back in October 2022, Daigneault held a table read to hear how his dialogue sounded from a group of actors. Having attended the table read where it was barebones, no set, no production and seeing the show in full production was incredible.
It was interesting to see the jokes landing on the audience because of the overall ambiance of the set and sounds of the show. Actors took their own creative liberties that director Daigneault could not have thought of himself.
“I think it’s a really good thing that I couldn’t imagine all the little things that the actors would add that would make me laugh; all the little details that went into the set and sound design is honestly more that I could imagine. I am quite happy and proud of that fact,” Daigneault said.
Martin Guranili, who played Damien, made his character feel like that of Kramer from Seinfeld. Subtle bits of physical comedy made the character hilarious and brought a bit more of an edge to the struggling actor that the character is. Alongside the other actors, they heightened the scene and stole the show, even if they were in the background. A scene that stood out was when Tim, played by Peter Bacon, and Damien were acting out how the proposal should go. Damien channeled his inner woman and created a chaotic nature out of Tim’s girlfriend. This could not be brought to full effect during the table read.
What was interesting however was Emma Oullette’s take on Ivy. She made her feel like she was high maintenance and difficult to be with, whereas in the table read the reader of Ivy made her more reserved and quiet, which I liked for her more. It felt it was a better pair for Tim to have her more sincere than difficult.
Another scene that was quite beautiful was Damien and his sister Madison helping Tim express his love for his girlfriend Ivy. Damien steps out to the front of the stage and a spotlight hits him as he acts out his sincerest impression of Tim’s love. Madison then kicks him out of the spotlight and does the same thing. Meanwhile, Remi is causing chaos by purchasing a ferret.
“There is only so much that you can do with a script right in front of you. Having walls and all the props that you need, a lot of the jokes translate better. It feels more alive,” Daigneault said.
The play took place in one setting, the apartment of friends in their 20s. There were posters on the wall that were hilarious to look at and things got more chaotic the more you looked at them. But it gave the play more depth and that sitcom vibe that Daigneault was striving for.
“The production actually for me and the crew has gone quite well. Everything was done on time or precisely on time so that any issues that arose we were able to take care of them quite easily,” Daigneault said. “A few lines changed since the table read, a couple jokes got added, a couple jokes got dropped, nothing of the overall plot or characters, just nitpicky things that needed to be changed.”
The show could not be done without the help of the entire cast and crew. Everything was fine tuned and cued perfectly to really encompass the feel of the show.
“The importance of techies, people involved in technical theater, I think get overlooked a lot. If all the world’s a stage, that means that techies are gods. I had a wonderful stage manager and set design crew that, once again, are gods among men,” said Daigneualt “They did an excellent job on the set and I am just a silly little man who scribbled on a piece of paper. More praise needs to go to them above all else.”
The Maine Masque has submissions for student-written and student-led submissions for their Maine Masque Mainstage play towards the end of the spring semester. If you are interested in submitting a play to the Maine Masque, you can reach out to one of their officers.
“I am a sham. Be better than me. I don’t know if it is going well or not,” Daigneault said.