Almost, Maine Audition Information How can you

Almost, Maine Audition Information
Good day to you.
In these few pages you will find all the information you need to audition for the
ETHS spring play, John Cariani’s Almost, Maine. The full script is available for
checkout. Just come to the office behind the Upstairs Theatre. This packet
includes but is not limited to the following:
A brief introductory statement about the play and the process
A rundown of roles and casting
A calendar and schedule (spoiler: there’s not much)
Some audition pieces
How can you possibly justify doing this show?
Though that question is clearly a hostile one, I will do my best to explain myself.
Almost, Maine is one of the most produced titles in American theatre over the last
ten years, even if many people have never heard of it. Why is it so popular? The
simple answer is that the casting is really flexible and seems (at least so far to me)
fairly straightforward to produce.
The truth, anyway, is that it is a head-over-heels romantic piece. Every scene is a
duet (one scene is a trio) playing on the theme of love. The characters are at
many different points in a relationship: first meeting, bogged down in a longterm relationship, broken up, etc. Every scene takes place at the same time on the
same night in the same town in the lonely dead of winter in northern Maine.
The town is almost somewhere, but not quite there.
Furthermore, the scenes are a little bit surreal. One character carries her broken
heart in a bag. It’s pieces of slate. Another one literally can feel no pain, until he
suddenly can. A shoe falls from the heavens. A person walks around the world
in one night.
To be in love is surreal. Connecting truthfully with another human being is so
miraculous and insane that it makes sense to write a romantic play featuring
magical realism. Because that’s the descriptor that works best when discussing
this play: magical realism. Something magical happens between two characters
(sometimes good, sometimes bad) and the mysteries of the universe begin to be
So, yeah, the play is about love, and all its surreal ridiculousness.
What are the roles? How will this show be cast?
Here are the scenes, and the basic outlines:
Prologue: Jeanette and Pete. They are growing apart. Pete awkwardly makes a
joke (using a snowball to illustrate) about how though it might seem as though
they are further apart, from another perspective, in a sense, they are growing
closer. He means that, as he withdraws, he is closer to her from the other side of
the world. She leaves. They show up in two more silent vignettes.
Her Heart: Glory and East. A hiker sets up camp in a strange man’s front yard.
Though she is there mourning her dead husband, the man falls sincerely and
completely in love with her almost instantly. Their relationship is complicated by
the fact that she is carrying her broken heart with her everywhere she goes. He is
a repairman, though, and he sets out to solve the problem.
Sad and Glad: Jimmy and Sandrine. A man runs into his ex at a bar. He is still
very much in love with her. She reveals, eventually, that she is there at her
bachelorette party, and she is getting married tomorrow. He tries to be gracious,
but, as gentle as she is, her news crushes him. Eventually he reveals that he has a
bad, misspelled tattoo. Then that tattoo seems to set him on a new path. That
sounds weird, I know, but I don’t know how else to explain it. This scene also
features a waitress. The bar offers free drinks to sad people.
This Hurts: Steve and Marvalyn. This is the scene I referred to earlier, with the
character who can feel no pain. He meets a woman, Marvalyn…well, actually, he
doesn’t meet her as much as she accidently hits him in the head with an ironing
board. He informs her about her condition, she talks a little about her unfulfilling
relationship, they kiss, and suddenly everything is different. He can feel pain,
and this is wonderful news.
Getting it Back: Gayle and Lendall. A woman arrives at her boyfriend’s house to
break up with him. In fact, she wants to return all his love. She has giant bags
filled with his love in the car. She brings them in, and demands that Lendall give
her back the love she gave him. She is disappointed in what he has to return to
her. They have been together a long time, and are not sure how to (or even if
they should) take the next step. This scene is almost unbearably sweet.
They Fell: Randy and Chad. These two are best friends, talking under the stars
about terrible dates they’ve suffered through. They actually make it something of
a competition. Chad then discovers that he’s fallen in love with Randy. But the
weird thing is that “falling” moves from a nice metaphorical, figurative way to
talk about love to a literal problem: when Chad gets “weak in the knees”, he
really cannot walk, and continually collapses. Though these developments are
unexpected, Randy and Chad come to an understanding.
Where It Went: Marci and Phil. These two are already married, but
disconnected. They are coming back from a night of skating. Marci has lost her
shoe, and she is resentful about Phil’s work schedule. They get in a fight about
how disappointing their relationship has turned out to be. Just when they
recognize that they both are trapped and frustrated, the shoe turns up.
Story of Hope: Hope and Daniel. A woman comes to a strange house to look up
an old boyfriend she jilted. She feels incredible guilty and regretful about turning
her back on him many years ago. However, the man living in his house is much
smaller than the man she remembers. He turns out to be her long-lost boyfriend,
and her decision many years ago has consequences that have altered him, body
and soul.
Seeing the Thing: Dave and Rhonda. Two friends have just finished a
snowmobile race, and finally Rhonda lets Dave inside her house. Though the
relationship is simply a friendship, clearly Dave wants more. Rhonda is
something of an adult tomboy, and terrified of any romantic entanglement. He
painted her something at his adult ed art class, but she cannot decipher what it
is, or what it could mean. Eventually, Dave confesses his true feelings and
Rhonda has confessions of her own. The painting is interpreted. They fall
desperately in love with while wearing snowpants.
The last scene resolves the story of Jeanette and Pete.
So, as you can see or count, this play has nineteen roles (including the waitress
from “Sad and Glad”) but can be performed with as few as four people. So I
don’t know exactly how many people will be cast, as I’d like everyone to get to
do two scenes. But it all depends on the auditions.
I am comfortable saying that it will be more than four but fewer than nineteen.
The spring play this year has its shortest rehearsal window I can remember. My
goal in casting the show early is that we can get some scenes together earlier and
work before the official rehearsal period begins, which is traditionally after the
musical goes up.
Furthermore, I will be sensitive to AP testing needs. The beauty of doing a show
with a bunch of two person scenes is that the rehearsal schedule can be pretty
Technically, that means that the schedule could potentially be:
April 27-May 2nd. Obviously if you’re in the musical, I wouldn’t expect you to
rehearse on show days. 4-6:30
May 4-9, 4-6:30
May 11-16 4-6:30
PRETECH: May 18-21. These rehearsals are scheduled go until eight. This is the
weird part. YAMO auditions are on the 22nd and the 23rd .We would do our tech
Saturday on Monday the 25th, Memorial Day. Students attending prom can do so
and let it be the most blissful night you’ve ever had. (Really. It’d help the show.)
You can spend Saturday and Sunday luxuriating in the afterglow of prom, but
you have to make your way back for tech on Monday morning. We start at ten.
TECH WEEK: 25-27. We rehearse until ten those two nights. So it’s actually a
pretty easy tech week.
Performances: May 28th-30th. Obviously if those dates don’t work for you, I
apologize for making you read so far.
So this show needs to be ready in about twenty-five rehearsals.
On the next page, you can print out a conflict sheet, get it signed by someone at
home to show that you’ve read and understood the schedule. After that, you’ll
find the audition pieces.
Almost, Maine Conflict Sheet
Please circle and specify any potential conflict, then sign the bottom of the form.
Bring this form with you to the audition.
April 27th: 3-6:30
May 14th: 4-6:30
April 28th: 4-6:30
May 15th: 4-6:30
April 29th: 4-6:30
May 16th: 10-4
April 30th: 4-6:30
May 1st: 4-6:30
May 18th: 3-8
May 2nd: 10-4
May 19th: 4-8
May 20th: 4-8
May 4th: 3-6:30
May 21st: 4-8
May 5th: 4-6:30
May 6th: 4-6:30
May 7th: 4-6:30
May 25th: 10-6
May 8th: 4-6:30
May 26th: 4-10
May 9th: 10-4
May 27th: 4-10
May 11th: 3-6:30
May 12th: 4-6:30
May 28th-30th.
May 13th: 4-6:30
I have read and understand the conflict schedule for Almost, Maine. These are all my
conflicts. I understand that adding conflicts may result in the loss of a role.
On the next few pages you will find six basic monologues from the play. Obviously the
trick with this show is to fit actors together, so the first round of auditions will pale in
importance next to the callbacks. That being said, this play requires sincerity and
passion. Be truthful. Make choices. Most of these speeches are confessions. Please refer
back to the summaries of the scenes for more context.
Memorization is encouraged, but not required. In case you are confused, Glory, Gayle
and Hope are women, and Steve, Randy and Chad are men.
GLORY :( A stranger has just told her that he loves her) Well…that’s very nice. But
there’s something I think you should know. I’m not here for that. I’m here to pay my
respects. To my husband. Yeah: my husband. Wes. I just wanted to say goodbye to him,
‘cause he died recently. On Tuesday, actually. And, see, the northern lights—did you
know this?—the northern lights are really the torches that the recently departed carry
with them so they can find their way home, to heaven, and this is Friday! This is the
thirds day, so, you see, I will see them, the northern lights, because they’re him: He’ll be
carrying one of the torches. And, see, I didn’t leave things well with him, so I was just
hoping I could come here and say goodbye to him and not be bothered, but what you did
there just a second ago, that bothered me, I think, and I’m not here for that, so maybe I
should go and find another yard.
STEVE :( He can’t feel pain, and is discussing this fact with an attractive stranger.)I don’t
know. I don’t know what it’s like to hurt, so…I don’t know. I don’t really feel. This is how
I was born. I don’t have fully developed pain sensors. They’re immature, my brother Paul
says, and because they’re immature, my development as a human being has been
retarded, he says, but he teaches what hurts, though. So I won’t ruin myself. I have to
know what hurts, so I know when to be afraid. See, my mind can’t tell me when to be
afraid, ‘cause my body doesn’t know what being hurt is, so I have to memorize what
might hurt. And I have to memorize what to be afraid of. Things like bears. And guns and
knives. And fire. And fear—I should fear fear itself—and pretty girls…Well, cause my
brother Paul says they can hurt you ‘cause they make you love them, and that’s
something I’m supposed to be afraid of, too—love—but Paul says that I’m really lucky,
because I’ll probably never have to deal with love.
GAYLE: (She is breaking up with her boyfriend.) I told you: we’re done. Because—
because when I asked you if you ever thought we were gonna get married—remember
when I asked you that? In December? It was snowing? Yeah, well, when I asked
you…that, you got so…quiet. And everybody said that that right there shoulda told me
everything. They said how quiet you got was all I needed to know and they’re right: You
don’t love me. And I’ve been trying to fix that, I’ve tried to make you love me by giving
you every bit of love I had, and now…I don’t have any love for me left, and that’s…that’s
not good for a person…and…that’s why I want all the love I gave you back, because I
want to bring it with me. I need to get away from things. Well. You are the things in this
town I need to get away from because I have to think and start over, and so: all the love I
gave to you? I want it back, in case I need it.
RANDY: (He is discussing a terrible date he had once.) Her face broke. Only get one
chance with a girl like Yvonne LaFrance and her face broke. Told you it was bad. We
were dancin’, Cause that’s what she wanted to do. On our date. So I took her. Took her
dancin’ down to the rec center. You pay, then you get a lesson, then you dance all night.
They teach “together dancing,” how to dance together and we learned that thing where
you throw the girl up and over, and, Yvonne—well, she’s pretty small…and I’m pretty
strong. And I threw her up and over, and, well…I threw her…over…over. And she landed
on her face. And it broke. Had to take her to the emergency room. And that’s a drive.
Thirty-eight miles. And she cried. Whole way. Then had me call her old boyfriend to
come get her. He did. Asked me to “please leave.” He’s as small as she is.
CHAD: (This is immediately following the speech above. He’s talking to his best friend
Randy. He is working up to tell his friend that he loves him.) I don’t’ know. Just
sometimes…I don’t know why I bother going “out.” I don’t like it, Randy. I hate it. I hate
goin’ out on these dates. I mean, why do I wanna spend my Friday night with some girl I
might maybe like, when I could be spendin’ it hangin’ out with someone I know I like,
like you, you know? I mean…that was rough tonight. In the middle of the date, when
Sally was tellin’ me how she didn’t like the way I smelled…I got real sad, and all I could
think about was how not much in this world makes me feel good or makes much sense
anymore, and I got really scared, ‘cause there’s gotta be something that makes you feel
good or at least makes sense in this world, or what’s the point, right? But then I kinda
came out of bein’ sad, and actually felt okay, ‘cause I realized that there is one thing in
this world that makes me feel really good and that does make sense, and it’s you.
HOPE: (She has arrived on the doorstep of her old boyfriend’s house. She rejected him
years ago. This is her first line. It is described in the stage directions as “fast and
furious.”) I know this isn’t going to be very easy, but I was just out there all alone in the
world, and I got so scared, because all I could think about was how I had no place in the
world, but then I just outta nowhere realized that there was one place in this world that I
did have, and that was with you, so I flew and I took a taxi to get to you, I just had to
come and see you. Thank god you’re—Oh--…Wait…I’m sorry. You’re not…I’m—This is
the house…I’m so sorry. Does Daniel Harding live here? I’m looking for Daniel Harding.
He lives here, I thought. But…he doesn’t, does he? Oooh. I am so sorry. I’m so
embarrassed. “Who is this woman and what is she doing here?” I just honestly thought
he be here. Always. Do you know him? Big guy, tall guy. Played basketball, all-Eastern
Maine, center? Strong. Do you know him?
Thanks for your time.