ALMOST, MAINE Opens at TheaterWorks Tonight

A delightful midwinter night's dream, ALMOST, MAINE by John Cariani will play TheaterWorks in downtown Hartford. The sweet and poignant comedy runs tonight, January 25 - March 3, 2013, directed by Amy Saltz.

With an Our Town sensibility, Almost, Maine is an endearing comedy about people falling in and out of love. Nine unabashedly romantic tales of love are woven together with just enough melancholia and yearning to keep them true. It's refreshing, charming, smart and very funny. Come to Almost where deceptively simple surfaces peel back to reveal complex truths.

The production's design team includes Michael Schweikardt (Sets), Harry Nadal (Costumes), John Lasiter and Mary Jo Dondlinger (Lights), and J Hagenbuckle (Sound / Composer). Production Manager is Michael Lenaghan.

As the northern lights hover in a star-filled sky, residents of the remote, mythical town of Almost, Maine find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and hilarious ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. But The Bruises heal and the hearts mend - almost - in this delightful midwinter night's dream.

The show will run tonight, January 25 through March 3, 2013, playing Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays: 7:30 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays: 8:00 p.m.; Weekend Matinees: 2:30 p.m. Press Opening is Friday, February 1st at 8:00 p.m. The Lobby and Gallery of American Art, sponsored by The Hartford Financial Services Group, opens 90 minutes prior to curtain; seating starts 60 minutes prior. A free matinee for college students & faculty is offered Sat., February 9th at 2:30 p.m.

TheaterWorks is located at City Arts on Pearl - 233 Pearl Street in Downtown Hartford. Parking: Discounted parking is available to TheaterWorks' patrons for $5 at CityPlace Garage (diagonally up Pearl Street from TheaterWorks) and the Q Lot, (adjacent to the Metropolitan apartment building).

Admission: All Seats - General Admission - $50. PAY WHAT YOU CAN WEDNESDAY January 30th. Senior Discount - Saturday matinees - $35. Center Reserved Service Charge - $13. College-age Student Rush w/ID - $17 (subject to availability). For seats call (860) 527-7838. Appropriate for audiences AGES 10 AND UP.

TheaterWorks 2012 - 2013 FOUR Play Subscriptions are only $129. With TheaterWorks' unique subscription system patrons may attend a play any time they wish during its run and are credited with free seats if they ever miss a play. For more information, visit

Eric Bryant (East, Lendall, Chad, Phil, Dave) makes his TheaterWorks debut with Almost, Maine. He appeared in the award-winning Off-Broadway revival of Angels In America at the Signature Theatre, where he understudied and performed the 3 roles of Prior Walter, Louis Ironson, and Joe Pitt. Other New York credits include Billy Witch at APAC, The Pillow Book at 59E59, and Even Maybe Tammy at The Flea. Regional credits include Leslye Headland's Bachelorette at Studio Theatre (DC), Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap at Walnut St Theatre, and Lewis Black's One Slight Hitch at New York Stage and Film. Film / TV: Deception. Eric is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Yale School of Drama, just down the road apiece.

Laura Esposito (Ginette, Sandrine, Gayle, Hope) TheaterWorks: Debut. Off-Broadway: Dramatis Personae (The Playwrights Realm). New York: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln - A Comedy (Upright Citizen's Brigade); Jester's Dead (The Pit); Even Maybe Tammy (The Flea); Lines in Code (Three Legged Dog); Moloch and Other Demons (Here & The Brick). Regional: Shipwrecked (Triad Stage); Crashing the Party (Mixed Blood); Romeo and Juliet (The Acting Company, The Guthrie); Passion Play & Lulu (Yale Rep.) Film: Better Luck Tomorrow (MTV Films). Education: Yale School of Drama, NYU Tisch

Lucas Hall (Pete, Jimmy, Steve, Randy, Man) is thrilled to be working at this wonderful theater with these wonderful people. Off -broadway: Beyond the Horizon (Irish Rep);The Merchant of Venice, Othello, All's Well That Ends Well (Theatre For a New Audience); Edward II (Red Bull); The Hasty Heart (Keen Company). Regional: Twelfth Night (Westport Country Playhouse), A Dram of Drummhicit (world premiere, La Jolla Playhouse), A True History of the Johnstown Flood (world premiere, The Goodman), Hamlet, Measure For Measure, The Violet Hour (Old Globe), Two Noble Kinsmen (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), The Tempest (Pittsburgh Public), Cyrano (Shakespeare Theater, DC), Romeo and Juliet (New Rep). Film/TV: The Love Letter, Late Summer, Guiding Light, As the World Turns. Training: North Carolina School of the Arts under Gerald Freedman. LTJ.

JESS WATKINS (Glory, Waitress, Marvalyn, Marci, Rhonda) is really excited to be here at TheaterWorks! NYC Credits: Mocha (Broad Horizons Theatre Co.), The Vultures (2011 Weasel Festival), The Theory of Everything (The Group Lab), Buried Words (Stark Theatre Co.) Regional Credits: Frank Wildhorn's Bonnie & Clyde: The Musical (La Jolla Playhouse). She can also be found doing stand-up at questionable bars in Queens. Don't tell her mother. Education: BFA: University of Evansville, MFA: UC San Diego.

John Cariani (Playwright) is an actor and a playwright. As an actor he appeared on and off Broadway, and in several films and television shows. As a playwright, he is best known for his first play, Almost, Maine, which premiered at Portland Stage Company in 2004, opened Off Broadway in 2006, and has since become one of the most frequently produced plays in the country. Many thanks to Rob for choosing to do Almost, Maine at his extremely cool theater. And thanks to Amy and this great cast for treating it right. In This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote: "The sentimental person thinks things will last-the romantic person has a desperate confidence that they won't." Almost, Maine is for the romantics.

Amy Saltz (Director) TheaterWorks: Blackbird (Connecticut Critics Circle Award), This. Off-Broadway: Playwright's Horizons, Theater for a New Audience, Second Stage, The Public Theater, Circle East, Provincetown Playhouse. Regional: Long Wharf, Yale Rep, Seattle Rep, Arena Stage, Actors' Theater of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse, The Rep. Theater of St. Louis. O'Neill NationalPlaywrights Conference and Seven Devil's Playwrights Conference: collaborated on new work by numerous playwrights including August Wilson, Adam Rapp, Lee Blessing, John Patrick Shanley, Robert Schenkkan, Kara Lee Corthoron, Cusi Cram , Sam Hunter. TV: Another World and Search for Tomorrow. Teaching: Yale School of Drama, The Juilliard School, Tisch School of the Arts, North Carolina School of the Arts. Member of SDC. Head, MFA Program in Directing at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University

Michael Schweikardt (Set Designer) maintains a successful career as a set designer for opera and theater companies across the country. Off-Broadway productions include: Bloodsong of Love (Ars Nova); ReWrite (Urban Stages); The Black Suits (The Public Theater); The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks (Theatreworks USA); Things to Ruin (Second Stage, The Zipper Factory). Regional credits include productions at The Old Globe; Cleveland Playhouse; Pittsburgh Public Theatre; Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Asolo Repertory Theatre; Maltz Jupiter Theatre; Syracuse Stage and multiple productions at Goodspeed Musicals including Carousel, Showboat, Annie Get Your Gun, 1776, Big River, Camelot. Tours: ELLA a musical about jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald; Motherhood the Musical and James Taylor's One Man Band.

Harry Nadal (Costumes) TheaterWorks: RED, The Sty of the Blind Pig, The Motherf----r With the Hat, RACE, A Steady Rain, THIS, God of Carnage, Broke-ology. New York: The Atlantic Theatre, Lincoln Center Institute, Pregones Theatre, LAByrinth Theater, Theatre for The New City, Spectrum Stage, HOME for Contemporary Theater and Arts, HERE Arts Center, Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture, Miranda Theatre, The Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, and Ensemble InterNational Theatre, among others. Regional / Abroad: Danza Del Alma Co., Cuba, Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, Open Stage of Harrisburg, among others. Broadway: Paul Simon's The Capeman (Assistant Designer); A Class Act (Assistant Designer). Other: Celebrating a Century of Women Designing for Live Performance (NY Public Library for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center). Education: MFA, NYU-Tisch.

John Lasiter (Light Design) TheaterWorks: Venus in Fur, I Loved I Lost I Made Spaghetti, High, Deadmans Cell Phone, No Child, Rabbit Hole, Take Me Out and Make Me a Song among many others. Regional: Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arena Stage, Arizona Repertory Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Centerstage, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cleveland Play House, Dallas Theater Center, Florida Stage, George Street Playhouse, Geva Theatre, Goodspeed Musicals, The Guthrie Theater, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, New Mexico Repertory Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theater, South Coast Repertory, Syracuse Stage, Virginia Stage Company and Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. Off Broadway: Alarm Dog Repertory Company, Blue Light Theater Company, Music Theater Group. Dance: Randy James Dance Works, Ballet Memphis, Danzantes New Mexico, Irene Hultman Dance and Nora Reynolds Dance. Opera: Eos Orchestra, The Curtis Institute of Music, Glimmerglass Opera, Manhattan School of Music, Opera Delaware, Opera Carolina and Skylight Opera Theatre.

Mary Jo Dondlinger (Lighting Designer) TheaterWorks: Blackbird, The Lady With All The Answers. Career design credits include productions for Circle in the Square, The Irish Repertory Theater, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Goodspeed Opera House, Laguna Playhouse, and many others. She has long been associated with the York Theatre Company Off-Broadway where she designed the original production of The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) as well as many other musicals and plays. In Cleveland, Mary Jo is the co-designer of A Christmas Carol and the recent Sondheim on Sondheim at Great Lakes Theater. In NYC her work can currently be seen in The Fantasticks at the Snapple Theater Center in Times Square.

J HAGENBUCKLE (Sound Designer / Composer) J has been designing sound and composing music for TheaterWorks since ART in 2000. He's designed over 30 plays with directors Steve Campo, Rob Ruggiero and recently with Tazewell Thompson (Red, The Sty of the Blind Pig, A Steady Rain) and Amy Saltz (THIS, Blackbird). J has designed on Broadway, Jackie an American Life (Belasco Theatre), Off and Off-Off-Broadway, Regional Theater including 7 seasons at The Berkshire Theatre Festival, Dance, Film and Industry. J is the first person to receive an NEA/TCG Design Grant for Sound, an Elliot Norton Award for Sound and an MFA in Sound Design from Brandeis University.

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