AUBURN – L/A Arts Seniors Readers Theatre will hold a public performance at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, in the Community Room of the Auburn Public Library. The group will present several Dylan Thomas pieces, including “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.” The presentation is free and appropriate for all ages.

The group of seniors has been meeting on Tuesday afternoons at the library for the past several months under the guidance of Program Leader Maureen Butler, a local actress and educator. This is the second session L/A Arts has held at the library.

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.

Readers Theatre is limited only by the imagination. 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.

“We work on a variety of pieces throughout the sessions. Everything from Dylan Thomas to Neil Simon, although we haven’t done Shakespeare – yet,” said Butler. “Sometimes people bring in their own pieces. We discuss them first, then they have the week to work on them before we do the reading. When a piece really connects with someone, they can get quite passionate, which really brings life to the words on the page.”

To prepare for their public performance, the library group will do a private dress rehearsal for a counterpart group at Schooner Estates on Tuesday, Oct 31.

“Each group has its own identity,” said Butler. “The Schooner Estates group tends to prefer plays specifically created for mature actors and then have in-depth discussions after. The library group goes for the more contemporary writings and will work on anything from drama to comedy. It will be interesting to see how the two react to each other.”

Many who attended the first session of Seniors Readers Theatre came back for the second, although Butler said there are no prerequisites for any of the sessions she plans.

She said L/A Arts is pleased to have worked with both Schooner Estates and the Auburn Public Library for this program and hopes to hold another session in spring 2007 if funding can be found.

For more information about Seniors Readers Theatre or any L/A Arts program, visit www.laarts.org or call 782-7228.


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