On a cold, clear, moonless night in the middle of winter, all is not quite what it seems in the remote, mythical town of Almost, Maine. As the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, Almost’s residents find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways.

That’s the plot idea, anyway, but the life of John Cariani’s “Almost, Maine” itself had heartbreak and a surprise ending.

Or, as the New York Times says, “move over, ‘Our Town,’ and other staples of the school auditorium stage. “Almost, Maine,” which lost its entire $800,000 Off Broadway capitalization, was the most-produced play in North American high schools this year. It unseated Shakespeare’s ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ from the No. 1 high school slot, according to Dramatics magazine’s Top 10 list.”

Read the full story in the New York Times and take a look at the play’s life a little closer to home.

Or listen as Alicia Anstead talks to Cariani about growing up in Presque Isle.