Short and Sweet

It's almost cliche to say that we Mainers love to keep to ourselves, but despite our best efforts, the Pine Tree State frequently makes its way into the spotlight.

Since Martha bought a second home here, those moments have become a bit more plentiful. And up in our neck of the woods, people are pretty pumped about the whole American Loggers thing. But for those of us who love the performing arts, nothing could've been sweeter than the debut of "Almost, Maine" off Broadway in 2005. Written by Presque Isle native (and Tony-nominated actor) John Cariani, this love letter — to a chilly northern town and its warmhearted people — also received rave reviews during its run here, thanks to our friends at Portland Stage and Penobscot Theatre Company. Oh, and if you're not a theater buff, you may recognize him from his run on Law and Order

In May, Cariani will return to his home state to lead a playwriting master class, "Five Days to Write Ten Minute Plays," at Opera House Arts in Stonington. The five-day intensive class is open to writers of all levels and is scheduled to accommodate locals and visitors (class is in session from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and Monday, May 3-4, and Friday through Sunday, May 8-10).

In Cariani's words, "We will learn that brevity is indeed the source of wit. We will tell our stories — however small or large — economically. We will learn what happens when we write when we're confined by time and space. Limitation inspires imagination."

In other words, keep it short and sweet.

For more information on the workshop or to register (deadline is April 24), visit Opera House Arts.


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