Playwright John Cariani offers very detailed notes in performance editions of the play. In these notes, some of the most significant points deal with the characters. Cariani writes:
The people of Almost, Maine are not simpletons. They are not hicks or rednecks....They are not quaint, quirky eccentrics. They don’t wear funny clothes and funny hats. They don’t have funny Maine accents. They are not “Down Easters.” They are not fisherman. They don’t wear galoshes and rain hats. They don’t say “Ayuh.” The people of Almost, Maine are ordinary people....They work hard for a living. They are extremely dignified. They are not cynical. They are not sarcastic. They are not glib. But this does not mean that they’re dumb. They’re very smart. They just take time to wonder about things.
Cariani establishes his thesis in the first scene of the play, “Her Heart,” by making the character of Glory an outsider. Glory’s encounter with East reveals many of the misconceptions people have about Maine; however, Cariani is careful not to make Glory a garish caricature of a tourist. To his credit, he infuses Glory with a naiveté that makes her misinformation seem innocent, even romantic.
East is also an important character in establishing the kind of people who populate Almost, Maine. East is not nearly as talkative as Glory is, but when he does speak, what he says is important. His declaration of love might seem to come out of nowhere, but he has been formulating his ideas carefully during his exchanges with Glory. When he agrees to let Glory stay and help her mend her broken heart, East proves that one of Glory’s notions was correct: Mainers “live life ‘the way life should be.’”
Double casting is very common in productions of Almost, Maine, and in many productions the play is enacted by two men and two women. This choice can create connectivity among characters because same actors inhabit them. This is especially true...
(The entire section is 826 words.)