THE STORY: This is a Middle School version of John Cariani’s ALMOST, MAINE with language appropriate for conservative middle schools. Welcome to Almost, Maine, a place that’s so far north, it’s almost not in the United States. It’s almost in Canada. And it’s not quite a town, because its residents never got around to getting organized. So it almost doesn’t exist. One cold, clear, winter night, as the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, the residents of Almost, Maine, find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and hilarious ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. But the bruises heal, and the hearts mend—almost—in this delightful midwinter night’s dream.
Note from John Cariani
Please know that, although the content and language of Almost, Maine: Middle School Edition has been adapted to suit younger actors, the spirit of the play has not been compromised. The stories the play tells are very much intact. Most of the edits are minor. The biggest change was made to a scene called “They Fell,” which is a chaste and innocent examination of two men (and/or two women) falling in love. Out of respect to faculty, staff, parents, and audience members who might find this scene to be controversial, objectionable, or inappropriate for middle school actors to perform, it has been rewritten as a traditional love story between a young man (a boy) and a young woman (a girl). Please read the original version in the published acting edition and encourage audiences to read it too. It is my hope that after you read it, you will wonder, “What’s all the fuss?” It is also my hope that—someday—two boys or two girls falling in love will not be controversial, objectionable, or inappropriate, and that all productions of Almost, Maine will use the original version of “They Fell.” Until that day, an amended version has been made available.
“ALMOST, MAINE is a series of nine amiably absurdist vignettes about love, with a touch of good-natured magic realism…witty, romantic, unsentimental. A beautifully structured play, with nifty surprise endings (most but not all of them happy).”—The New York Times.
“Sweet, poignant, and witty. Nearly perfect. AMOST, MAINE’s charm is real. [It] packs wit, earns its laughs and, like love, surprises you.” —New York Daily News.
“Mega-hit ALMOST, MAINE lands somewhere between Norman Rockwell and Our Town. Unabashedly unhip. There is no pretense of an edge here—the show offers a sweetness and decency that’s become rare at the theater. At this point, it’s a welcome breath of fresh air.” —New York Post.