Pamela Dewell

DATE: April 17, 2023

Residents of a fictional place, not quite a town, called Almost will take the stage at the Stonington Opera House August 10 20 to share the consequences of falling in and out of love against the backdrop of a cold winter’s night in rural Maine. Directed by Kathryn Markey, who joins Opera House Arts this month, the cast will include professional actors as well as local talent auditions are scheduled for Stonington later this month and in early May when auditions will also be held in New York.

Written by Maine playwright John Cariani, Almost, Maine is American theater at its best, produced by more than 5,000 theater companies world-wide since its premiere at Portland Stage Company in 2004. “We are excited to bring Almost, Maine to Stonington,” said Pamela Dewell, Interim Executive Director of Opera House Arts, “Stories of life in a small town have special resonance for those of us who make the island our home and are intriguing to those who come to visit, too. And falling in or out of love is a theme that everybody can relate to.

“OHA’s new Artistic Director, Kathryn Markey, will bring fresh perspective to the production and to our theater,” Dewell went on to say, “Kathryn is a native Vermonter who has spent twenty summers working in theaters throughout New England, as a director, actor, and writer. She is also the co-curator of Plays For Us, which finds and develops new work with substantial roles for women, and has been a featured artist at Symphony Space, Merkin Concert Hall, and In Your Face New York. We are delighted to welcome Kathryn, and her depth and breadth of experience, to the Stonington Opera House.

Cariani is passionate about what Almost, Maine communicates to the wider world that extraordinary things happen in far-flung places and that ordinary people experience extraordinary hope and joy. “Rural Americans are rarely found in contemporary art and culture except as uneducated rubes or as folks struggling with addiction,” the playwright said. “While some rural Americans are those things, they’re also many, many, many other things. They’re joyful. They’re smart. They have fun even in the face of tough circumstances. In other words they’re complicated. Like all human beings. But rural people are rarely muti-dimensionalized in contemporary art. I hope to change that with my plays.”

Cariani plans to be on hand to support OHA’s production of what will be the professional premiere of Almost, Maine’s 4th revised edition, which includes new updates to the beloved script. Plans for a workshop and other opportunities to meet with the playwright are underway.

Markey will hold auditions at the Opera House on Saturday, April 29 from 2 5 pm and again on Tuesday, May 2 from 5 8 pm for those unable to make Saturday. The theater seeks both men and women, particularly in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s. Inquiries are invited and may be sent to A weekly stipend will be paid during the rehearsal and performance weeks.

Opera House Arts, a 501 [c] [3] nonprofit organization, was founded in 1999 to restore the 1912 Stonington Opera House, on the National Register of Historic Places, and its original purpose as a performance space and community cornerstone. Professional theater, movies, variety acts, music and dance, educational programs, and special events are offered year-round. Hancock County students are invited to attend live performances for free thanks to its supporters.

For more information and a schedule of upcoming performances and events, please visit

Are you a member of the media? Visit our Press Room for more press releases and images or contact Opera House Arts at or 207-367-2788.