“Portland Stage” to Host First Event in State’s Bicentennial Celebration


Portland Stage Company, 25A Forest Avenue, to be First Event in Bicentennial Celebration.

“We are super excited about connecting to the celebration and we will be leading off the start of the celebration with, as I understand it, the first event in the state.  We are remounting ALMOST, MAINE with its writer John Cariani in the cast.  When I stated thinking about what play would best represent our state, John’s play was the first thing to come to mind,” wrote Anita Stewart, Executive and Artistic Director, of Portland Stage Company, in an email today.

“Not only is it a love letter to the state, about all the average everyday people who live here, bu it is also the piece that  brought Maine to the rest of the country and beyond.  ALMOST, MAINE, is the most produced play by high schools and colleges in the United States.  The only other plays  on that list, tracked since the 1940’s, are OUR TOWN, MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE and YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU.  It has had well over 3000 productions around the world.  I’m so proud to have been the theater to first produce the play,” Stewart continued.  The play will run from January 21, 2020 through February 16, 2019,

Cariana, an actor as well, is a Maine native who starred in LAW & ORDER, and has been nominated for a Tony Award.

Portland State Company is also planning to do readings of a number of other plays that  have premiered at Portland Stage about Maine.  Lastly, Portland Stage is planning a new play PERSEVERANCE, that has been commissioned.  The play is about suffrage, but is set both today and 100 years ago during the state’s centennial according to Stewart.

Stewart has been with Portland Stage Company for twenty-three years.

Please visit post herein dated November 8, 2019 for information on the grants’ program of the state’s bicentennial celebration.