Maine playwright John Cariani will read Saturday from his novel “Almost, Maine” in an online event from Portland Stage. Photo by JordanMatter Photography

Dim the lights, close the doors and fire up the computer. Maine theaters are bringing the show to your house.

As a long Maine winter begins and the number of COVID-19 cases continue to grow, going out for arts and culture experiences are still not all that appealing for a lot of people. So some Maine theaters are putting on virtual events for their audiences, even if they are offering live events, too.

Here are two Maine virtual theater events happening live over the next couple of weeks.


Portland Stage is having Maine playwright and actor John Cariani read from his new novel, “Almost, Maine,” based on his popular play of the same name. The play opened at Portland Stage in 2004 and has been produced thousands of times around the country since. The New York Times said the play was a rom-com that “leans on shrewd writing rather than star power in its nine interlocking love stories. (It) alternates beautiful, evocative prose with stutteringly awkward exchanges and often very funny sight gags.”

Cariani will be reading live from his novel at 5:30 p.m. Saturday and again on Nov. 21 at 5:30 p.m. Each reading will be followed by a live Q&A where audience members can direct questions to Cariani. The events are about an hour and are free to the public. But people need to register on the Portland Stage website.

Bess Welden’s play “Madeleines” will be read Saturday during a virtual event organized by Acorn Productions. Photo courtesy of Bess Welden


Acorn Productions will present a virtual installment of its Maine Playwrights Festival Reading Series at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Three actors – Karen Ball, Julia Langham and Deborah Paley – will read the play “Madeleines” by Maine playwright, performer and theater teacher Bess Welden. The play focuses on Debra, a struggling food writer, who returns home to Ohio to her care for declining mother. After her mother’s death brings family members together, “a startling secret about their mother’s most-treasured Passover recipe emerges, which changes everything they thought they knew about their family,” according to Welden’s website.

The running time is about two hours, including a brief intermission. The online event is free and donations will be accepted to help support the series. For more information, go to the Acorn Productions website or the reading’s  Facebook event page.

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