Stage East Artistic Director Mark Macey, transplanted from his native Utah to Maine just in time for Covid lockdown, reflected on his treatment of John Cariani’s classic Maine comedy this week:

“Almost, Maine has been produced by nearly 5,000 theater companies in the U.S. and is one of the most popular selections for community and high school theaters,” notes Macey. “This is partly because of the large and flexible cast and partly because audiences can’t help but love this warm and, at times, very funny show.

“The play is constructed as a series of vignettes, and its many scenes and locations almost feel more cinematic than theatrical. Usually this is dealt with by moving elaborate sets on and off stage and pulling out all the stops on the technical end. I wanted to go in the other direction. What does this play look like stripped back? 

What we’ve found is a more theatrical, and I hope more grounded version of the show. The playwright himself, John Cariani, reveals in his notes that ‘… “cute” will kill this play.’ Judge for yourself if we’ve avoided that pitfall.”

More information about the production may be found here. Tickets are available via the Stage East website or at the door. Attendees 17 and under will be admitted free of charge.

Assistant Director Nancy Tintle (right) works with performers Damon Weston and Kathleen Dunbar on their poignant scene, ‘Getting it Back,’ which caps off Act One of Stage East’s ‘Almost, Maine,’ set to open December 17. Photo by L. Elwood.