READERS’ THEATRE 2017-2018 SEASON
Readers' Theatre 2017-18 Season
by Beth Henley – directed by Baugh
9/25/17 & 9/30/17
From the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Crimes of the Heart comes this poignant but unromanticized story of the hard lives of pioneers on the high plains of Wyoming in the 1860’s. Macon and Bess are two mail-order brides, lured to the West by the promise of new beginnings through marriage to men they have never met. While waiting for their respective husbands-to-be, one bubbling with optimism, the other mousy and plain, the two women become instant best friends. As Abundance follows the two women through their friendship and adventures for the next 25 years, this Western epic unearths the dark underside of American mythology.
by Lynn Nottage – directed by Zwick-Tapley
11/27/17 & 12/2/17
The year is 1905. A young, single African American seamstress is supporting herself by creating exquisite lingerie for wealthy Manhattan clients. When a letter arrives from a stranger, it awakens a desire within her that leads to the love she yearned for, but is nothing like she expected. A tender, exquisitely-written historical romance from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage (Ruined,Sweat). It is a deeply moving tale of one woman’s discovery of her own empowerment and the true meaning of intimacy.
KEELY AND DU
by Jane Martin – directed by Peggy Shaughnessy
2/26/18 & 3/3/18
Teetering on the extreme edge of reality, Keely and Du is a mind probing issue play, focused on the abortion debate. Du, a right to life activist,and Keely, a pregnant rape victim she is holding hostage, confront each other’s core beliefs. Who is truly accountable? What is the extent of
individual freedom? How can we determine what is right thing to do? 1993 American Theatre Critics Association Award, Best New Play – Winner 1994 Pulitzer Prize in Drama – Finalist
by Garson Kanin – directed by Don Kraus
4/16/18 & 4/21/18
Junkman Harry Brock has come to Washington to make crooked deals with government big-wigs (…sound familiar?). Girlfriend Billie is charming but dumb. Magazine reporter Paul Verrall has been investigating Brock’s activities, and agrees to tutor Billie. But her natural honesty and frankness enchants Paul. As she begins to learn what Harry really is she becomes a threat to Harry who resorts to violence.
BORN YESTERDAY enjoyed one of the longest Broadway-runs in history, and in today’s world of political corruption, BORN YESTERDAY still holds up after over 60 years.
BECKY & HER LUNG TRANSPLANT
by Lucy Wright & William Missouri – Ken Benda, director.
6/18/18 & 6/23/18
A small cast (4 people – 3 women, one young man) dramatic comedy about a Hollywood screenwriter (Sylvia) who’s faced with an extraordinary situation. Her high school dropout son is convinced that when he plays the video game Drone Strike he’s actually killing people in Afghanistan. With her career and finances imploding, Sylvia accepts a job to script a real life story of a woman from Ohio. The problem is she soon finds out that nothing of the woman’s story is true.
This play looks at the relationship between real life and fantasy. Real vs. Fake News.
WHAT IS READERS’ THEATRE?
Bas Bleu Readers’ Theatre is a powerful and imaginative way to experience theatre. Instead of the usual sets and costumes you see in a play or musical, Readers’ Theatre actors read aloud a script or literature adaptation using voice, facial expressions and gestures. The audiences then bring the piece alive in their own imaginations. As with reading a book, they experience the story in their mind’s eye in their own unique way.
Readers’ Theatre Background
Bas Bleu Readers’ Theatre, under co-directors Jonathan and Deb Farwell, has earned enthusiastic response from a loyal audience since Jonathan started it in 2006. It presents five plays per season for three performances only, doubling the total number of plays available to our audience, and incorporating a range of plays which might be risky for full production, including new works by national playwrights, often with an emphasis on dark comedy and current issues.
Readers’ Theatre also provides a forum for actors and directors who may not have time to commit to long rehearsals and performance runs, since the time commitment for participants is relatively small. The play is READ to the audience by actors with scripts in hand, with relatively little stage movement or production values, but with enough rehearsals (usually about five) to arrive at good performance levels in their reading. Often, a narrator is used to provide information the audience needs to follow the action.
Auditions for each production are held by the individual director, and once the cast is selected, rehearsals are scheduled to suit the availability of the cast. Actors of all levels of experience are encouraged to audition, and our casts – and directors – seem to love the creativity of the experience. Jonathan likes to call the performances “radio drama with close-ups.” Audiences often tell us they love “seeing the whole play” in their imaginations.
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