New L/A Arts initiative: Elders Readers Theatre

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LEWISTON – While acting on stage is an attraction to many, for others it can be quite intimidating. L/A Arts, in partnership with the Lewiston and Auburn public libraries, has a solution – it’s called Readers Theatre.

Readers Theatre is a form of dramatic reading, during which participants read from a script. Because the focus is on the reading process, there is no need for memorizing, props, costumes or sets.

The focus on reading reduces the pressure and stress on participants, as they don’t have to worry about remembering their lines, yet it stimulates the cognitive processes.

The new project is designed for the seniors community (50+) and will be led by Maureen Butler, who has been an actor and theater educator for more than 20 years. She has worked extensively with seniors developing educational and social programs.

Butler said she looks forward to developing a “readers theatre” that encompasses games, improvisations, discussions, reminiscence and performance.

There will be two, multiple-week sessions open to the public. The first will begin Tuesday, May 2, and will be held at the Lewiston Public Library’s Couture Room from 1 to 2:15 p.m. Tuesdays for eight consecutive weeks.

The other session will begin Tuesday, May 16, and take place at the newly renovated Auburn Public Library as part of its reopening activities. Auburn sessions will take place in the ground level conference room from 3 to 4:15 p.m. Tuesdays for six consecutive weeks. Both sessions are free.

The new initiative is underwritten by a donation from John Orestis and Barbara M. Crowley.

For more information on Readers Theatre contact L/A Arts at 782-7228. No preregistration is required but it would be helpful for the organizers to get an idea of how many people to expect at the first sessions. A flier for each of the sessions can be downloaded from L/A Arts’ Web site at www.laarts.org.

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