Do you enjoy reading plays? Have you ever performed in live theatre? Maybe, like many folks our age, you’d like to play a role, but you’re afraid you’ll forget your lines. Not to worry. Our group sits at tables with scripts in-hand and enacts dramatic characters for each other and our friends. Our performances are closer to radio drama than fully staged theatre.
Readers Theatre is an open group of Riderwood residents who enjoy choosing plays together, working with directors to audition for roles and rehearse them, reading them with full vocal characterization, then discussing our productions. We hope that our subtitle for the group, “The Play’s the Thing” (borrowed from Hamlet), conveys the idea that we want to have some fun with our shows, even when we do serious drama
We began Readers Theatre in the Fall of 2022. Our opening production was The Skin of Our Teeth, a comedy by Thornton Wilder, followed the next February by The Mousetrap, an Agatha Christie mystery. At this writing, we plan to produce Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler in May.
A volunteer Steering Committee together with an Artistic Director head the Readers Theatre group. They select the plays we are doing and determine our casting policy. We are committed to racial- and gender-flexible casting to ensure a broad choice of plays and maximum participation. To that end, we decided to double-cast The Skin of Our Teeth and The Mousetrap and will do so for Hedda Gabler. This means that two different actors play the same role in each half of the production.
Double-casting also allows us to spread out the rehearsals and do separate productions for each half of the show. After a short audition process, each cast meets separately for three rehearsals before performing their half of the play, usually with the cast for the other half as their primary audience. In general, when we are preparing a new production, we rehearse for two hours on Tuesday mornings in the Village Square Card Room.
Bruce McConachie is the Artistic Director. Please contact Maggie Hayes, Chair of our Steering Committee, for more information or about joining the group She can be reached by email at ReadersTheater@RiderwoodLife.com .