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Almost, Maine
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Written by John Cariani
Date of premiere 2004
Place of premiere Portland Stage Company
Portland, Maine
Original language English
Genre Romantic Comedy
Setting Maine
Official site

Almost, Maine is a play by John Cariani, comprising nine short plays that explore love and loss in a remote, mythical almost-town called Almost, Maine. It premiered at the Portland Stage Company in Portland, Maine in 2004 where it broke box office records and garnered critical acclaim. There are eleven short scenes: the Prologue (which continues in the Interlogue and Epilogue), Her Heart, Sad and Glad, This Hurts, Getting It Back, They Fell, Where It Went, Story of Hope, and Seeing the Thing.

Almost, Maine opened Off-Broadway at the Daryl Roth Theatre on January 12, 2006 and closed on February 12, 2006. Directed by Gabriel Barre, the cast included Todd Cerveris, Justin Hagan, Miriam Shor, and Finnerty Steeves. Though its Off Broadway run was brief, the play is featured in Smith and Kraus' New Playwrights: Best Plays of 2006 and has proved popular in professional and nonprofessional theatre companies worldwide. It is now the most produced play in North American high schools, recently supplanting Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

The New York Times review of the play in 2006 was mixed: "A comedy comprising almost a dozen two-character vignettes exploring the sudden thunderclap of love and the scorched earth that sometimes follows, John Cariani's play will evoke either awww's or ick's, depending on your affection for its whimsical approach to the joys and perils of romance."

A New York Times review of a production at TheatreWorks in Hartford in 2013 was positive: "John Cariani’s Almost, Maine is a series of nine amiably absurdist vignettes about love, with a touch of good-natured magic realism...This is a beautifully structured play, with nifty surprise endings (most but not all of them happy) and passing references to characters from other vignettes, which slyly tell us more about them. Mr. Cariani describes the play’s subject as ‘falling in and out of love.’ It is just as much about pain.”

Praise for Almost, Maine

  • Selected by the American National Theatre as one of the most outstanding regional theatre productions of the 2004-2005 season.
  • Featured in New Playwrights: Best Plays of 2006.
  • Most produced play in North American high schools 2009-2010 and 2011-2012.
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