51 pages 1 hour read

John Cariani

Almost, Maine

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 2004

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Teacher Introduction

Almost, Maine

  • Genre: Fiction; romantic comedy; drama
  • Originally Published: 2004
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile HL720L; grades 9-12; college/adult
  • Structure/Length: 9 scenes, prologue, interlogue, and epilogue; approximately 72 pages; approximately 2 hours running time
  • Protagonist/Central Conflict: Set in the fictional, almost-town of Almost, Maine, the play features several characters in different vignettes that explore love and loss. Each story presents its own protagonists, with conflicts revolving around romantic and sometimes whimsical interpretations of love, relationships, and heartbreak.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Romance, heartbreak, emotional distress; mild comedic violence in some vignettes; some discussions of relationships and sexuality

John Cariani, Author

  • Bio: Born 1969; American playwright and actor; known for his character-driven and whimsically romantic writing style; has appeared in several TV shows and films; received a Tony nomination for his performance as Motel the Tailor in Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway (2004)
  • Other Works: Cul-de-sac (2006); Last Gas (2014); Love/Sick (2015)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Guide:

  • Love
  • Disconnection
  • Guilt/Regret

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Teaching Guide, students will:

  • Develop an understanding of the thematic and theatrical contexts related to live performance and the evocation of audiences’ emotion.
  • Analyze paired texts and other brief resources to make connections via the text’s themes of Love, Disconnection, and Guilt/Regret.
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