North to Maine

North To Maine - A play in two acts by Brenton Lengel

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The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a 2,176 mile footpath through the American wilderness.  It begins at the summit of Mt. Springer in Georgia and crosses through a total of fourteen states before reaching its terminus at the summit of Katahdin in Maine. Every year, in late March, nearly 2,000 people gather at its southern terminus and attempt the feat of walking it, in its entirety, in a single season.  These people are called thru-hikers. Twenty percent drop out before the first 30 miles and by the time they reach Maine only a few hundred remain. Those who complete it are called 2000-Milers. They come from all walks of life, and from all over the world. They carry all their possessions on their backs, and sleep in tents and shelters along the way, trusting their lives to providence, the kindness of strangers, and to their own hands. They do not walk for money, or fame, rather they are driven to walk, some would say compelled, by the journey itself.

North to Maine is the first play ever written about this treasure of the American landscape and the people who walk it.  The story follows five such thru-hikers as they travel north.  We begin with twenty-three year old Adam, a recent college graduate searching for purpose. He is joined by Kevin, a sagely former marine and Vietnam veteran and Nick AKA “Creature Man” a young and judgmental entrepreneur who has lost his business and maybe some of his mind in the process.  This fellowship is completed with the addition of Alice AKA “Juice-Box” one of the few female thru-hikers and Rock-Stabber a former marine/gear tester/jazz singer who has the unfortunate (and annoying) habit of constantly singing, especially late into the evenings when everyone else is trying to go to sleep.  While this play is a work of fiction, it is important to note that the script itself is ninety percent fact, and based largely on the playwright’s own experiences.

North to Maine is a two-act play with one intermission and a cast of eight characters. It can be performed by as few as five actors (four men and one woman) and has an approximate runtime of two and a half hours.  It is the true story of the Appalachian Trail, told by one who has walked every single mile of it. It is a story about the land; it is a story of coming of age, and about the vastness of human potential. Most of all North to Maine is the story of finding one’s soul through strife and struggle in the crucible of a journey and will leave an audience, not just with the understanding how one walks the trail, but what it is to walk the trail.

North to Maine is the recipient of first runner-up in the 2010 James Rodgers National Playright’s Competition at the University of Kentucky and was solicited for the 2010 Human Festival of New American Plays reading cycle at Actors Theatre of Louisville.  To date, it has had two staged readings, one with Antipants Productions in Louisville and another with ArtEffects Theatre Company in New York City.  North to Maine also enjoys multiple sponsors.

Click here to read an excerpt from the script.

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If you want to read the complete script or are interested in producing North to Maine feel free to email Brent.