When acting isn’t

I saw the Golden Globes the other night, one of the many award shows this season that will have me glued to the tube. I was sitting there, spellbound, even though I never believe art ought to be a contest. Who is the best is not only impossible to decide, it is pointless. How can you say Casey Affleck had a better performance than Denzel Washington? You can’t. It is… Continue reading

Manchester by the Sea

My friend is going to see Manchester by the Sea with her husband tomorrow and wants to know what I thought of it.

To echo Casey Affleck on Saturday Night Live recently, it is very sad. Very, very sad.

And I would add that there is no coming back from it.

What is this? A movie coming out at the holidays is supposed to entertain: and that… Continue reading

Oral interp and Christmas

I have several aging relatives who I want to do something more than just send them holiday cards. I know that with aging eyes, it isn’t always easy to read and sometimes they would like to something holiday-like than watch another rerun of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” So I have taken to reading Christmas and Hanukah stories they can listen to.

Is higher education right for you? How to find the best fit

o mind here, as well as Viola Davis and many others. But don’t start writing your acceptance speech just yet. First, get the skills and practice you need, and that may mean higher education.

What is right for you here and now, based on what you’ve achieved so far, what skills you’ve mastered, and your temperament (are you outgoing or a bit of an introvert like me?) may work… Continue reading

5 How the audience responds to focus

The audience sits. Waits. Lights come up on a group of actors, some sitting on stools, some standing on platforms of varying heights. All have scripts in their hands. The audience leans forward in anticipation. Let the scene begin! It does. The audience leans back. The characters aren’t looking at each other. There is a narrator. What is this?  they think. Yet another version of Our Town?

The scene… Continue reading

4 Make your Readers Theatre production visually appealing

How do you do that? How do you make a production, one that is being read from scripts, visually appealing?

In Readers Theatre, we are reading literature with the aim of vividly recreating everything, not on stage, but in the audience’s minds. Why not put the actors in a line spanning the stage? Or sit them in a semi-circle? Or why not all stand at a lectern and when… Continue reading

3 Working with a script in Readers Theatre

One of the attractions of our Readers Theatre group is that you get to perform on stage, but you don’t have to memorize your lines. Instead, you carry and read from a script during the performance. Hoo-ha! No memorizing!

My group has embraced carrying a script and we love that we don’t have to learn lines. But before you heave that sigh of relief, know that to be effective

2 What Readers Theatre is like. And what it can be.

My community theatre’s Readers Theatre group has made a good start.

Our group has so far had good results with recruiting people who wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to perform on the main stage. We have a strong core group who keep coming back and some others who come when they can. Still a few others have dropped out for one reason or another. (“Politics,” the kind that usually… Continue reading

1 The next big thing: Readers Theatre

Readers Theatre is on the resurgence. Time was, it was a big deal in theatre producing communities and not only in high school and college. There were professional productions, such as Don Juan in Hell (third act of Shaw’s Man and Superman) in 1951 and John Brown’s Body directed by Charles Laughton in 1952.

So, all right, that was a long time ago, but today, in my part of… Continue reading

What if the system is broken?

I’m doing a Readers Theatre workshop for the community theatre I belong to. It is the kind of hands-on two hours that, if it is effective at all, would both bring notice (advertising!) and support for our budding Readers Theatre group.

Planning and writing the workshop part is easy. It is advertising for it that has me stumped.

See, the theatre recently made a change. They want all… Continue reading