Last Gas on stage at Keuka College

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
The cast of Last Gas prepares for this weekend's production.

The curtain rises on Keuka College’s spring play, the comedy Last Gas, at 8 p.m.  Friday, April 5 at the Barn Theatre. Additional performances are 8 p.m. Saturday, April 6,  and 7 p.m. Sunday, April 7.

Love is lost and found in northern Maine in this funny and touching comedy by John Cariani, author of Almost, Maine, which Keuka staged in 2013, also directed by Theatre Professor Mark Wenderlich.

The play centers on Nat Paradis, a lonely, Red Sox-loving man who manages the last station to sell gas before the Canadian border. When an old flame returns to town on the same day his best friend arrives with the gift of tickets to a Red Sox-Yankees game, Nat’s quiet world sparks to life. Last chances and choices collide and he follows his heart into unknown territory.

Last Gas ran at Opera House Arts (Maine), Stonington Opera House (Maine), and at Geva Theatre in Rochester in 2014. A Rochester Democrat & Chronicle article described it as “a bittersweet romance about two people who lack the courage to admit they love one another ... it’s an undeniable winner.”

Student members of the cast include Chris Meyer ’21 (Nat), an ASL-English Interpreting major from New Brunswick, N.J.; Robyn Relyea, ’22 (Guy), an English major from Hornell; Keyara Aiken ’20 (Cherry-Tracy), an ASL-English Interpreting major from Cincinnatus; and Emily Jennings ’22 (Lurene), an Occupational Science major from Memphis, N.Y. 

A community theatre event, Last Gas also stars Penn Yan Theatre Company (PYTCo.) member Brent Siwak, who has performed in three previous Keuka College plays, as Dwight. Fellow PYTCo. actor Daniel Martens portrays Troy.

Jocelyn Brillian ’22, an English major from Rochester, is the stage manager. Sound designer Dan Roach has been involved with some 40 Keuka College productions, and set designer P. Gibson Ralph has also assisted with previous College productions. Director Wenderlich is also the light designer. The costume designer is Valerie Blaha, and the choreographer is Alaina Oliveri, a collaborator with the Rochester-based professional contemporary dance companies BIODANCE.

Tickets for the performances are $10 for the general public; $5 for Keuka College students, faculty, and staff. Seating is limited.