Almost, Maine by John Cariani: an analysis for production

Almost, Maine by John Cariani is a beautiful, poetic, endearing, popular, and very funny show. It is a two-act play with multiple characters and scenes, but only one through-story (prologue, intermission, epilogue). Running time is 2 hours including one 15-minute intermission. As Almost, Maine is currently a hot property, several of your potential patrons may have seen productions around the country. They may also be familiar with the controversy surrounding some high school attempts (later). Both situations may stir interest in ticket sales.

The character breakdown allows versatile casting possibilities from 4 to 19 actors. It is this director’s position that casting 4 people is the most ideal (tops 6). This casting allows a more “Everyman” feel to the show permitting audience members to lose the façade of the actor and place themselves, friends and relatives in the tender situations of the play. If your actor pool is anything like ours, finding 4-6 actors in their 20s-30s that will break their own traditions and deign to do a “non-musical” may be challenging.

Depending on your patronage and proclivities, there are some mild moral controversies. In a witty, beautiful scene 2 “real men” literally “fall” in love with each other. There is no physical contact. In another adorable and pivotal scene, a couple strips off each other’s clothing (snowmobile suits, through several layers, down to long johns) and the implied next step will be extra-marital sexual relations. These were the controversies for high schools. Adult actors should negate any conflicts. BONUS: The script has NO DIRTY WORDS!

The settings should be simple with implied locations on a versatile fixed common playing area. Almost, Maine has many specialty props (see script for complete list). All are easily obtainable: Maine travel brochure, hockey skates, ice skates, snowmobile helmets/jumpsuits, etc. Some odd prop construction pops up: several large red drawstring bags, a broken heart made of slate. The lighting or a transparency must allow for an Aurora Borealis effect (HIGHLY IMPORTANT).

All I ask is: Please….let me direct it first!

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