The play’s the thing, wherein we’ll catch the…Queen?

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Today was the penultimate Readers’ Theater session before summer break. One more to go (in June). Tonights plays were all based on telephone conversations. The first one, which required all in attendance to participate and even double up in some instances, was the radio drama that got made into the movie “Sorry, Wrong Number”. Basically the plot boils down to [spoiler alert, if anyone cares]:

Old Lady: I just overheard someone planning a murder!
Telephone Operators 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and Police Sergeant: Yeah. Sure.
Old Lady: *strangled*

The others were all more modern, and short (less than 10 minutes each). They were also amusing. Even the “suspense” ones were funny most of the way through.

In addition to “Sorry, Wrong Number”, I ended up participating in two others, both two person skits. The first was a “discussion” between a guy wanting to buy tickets and another guy trying to sell the tickets. Turns out they knew each other. Honestly, nothing all that interesting. To me it was just another bizarre-place-to-run-across-someone-you-know story.

The second was one of those annoying-operator-in-a-time-of-crisis stories. At least that’s what it started out to be. I’d volunteered to read the part of the operator. We were getting into it, and things were flowing nicely. About two thirds of the way through, however, and I discover the operator was supposed to be played by a woman. Oops.

So I figured, “What the hell.” I changed a couple of things on the fly, added a little improv, dropped a line or two, and voila: My name was George the telephone operator, and I was talking about my cheating husband, who was cheating with That Bastard, Brian. And I was complaining to this poor guy who was trying to get the number of a psychiatrist because his wife is psychotic.

Many compliments were given for changing the script on the fly to match my character. Though I still think I should have given him a Boston accent. Oh well. The trials and tribulations of a cold reading.

I’m a Born Creepy Stalker

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I have a new favorite play: The Professional Eye-Opener. It hasn’t been published yet, but the playwright has had others published and won awards. We were honored to be able to do a beta-reading tonight at Readers’Theater. All I can say is: “Holy crap, that was fun to read!”

It’s a two person, one-act play. Person 1 is a woman and a high level corporate manager. Person 2 is more difficult to describe. He is essentially a trickster archetype, though plays the part of a salesman. It revolves around two main points. The first is how much personal information is actually out there to be found. The second is about social awareness of what’s going on around you and between the people in your life.

I got to read “Eric”, and wow was he creepy. All smiles and innocence except that he knows everything about Beth’s life and her place and roll in her company. There are hints that he may be supernatural in some way, but it’s never explored…just left out there to be a thunderstorm on the horizon.

Lots of compliments on my reading, (including a comment from a friend “You make a really good creepy stalker.”) and I’m not surprised. Eric is kind of like the inverse of Kevin, one of my supernatural “angel” characters that spends his time posing as an out of work actor and healing the mental and emotional trauma of rape victims. Eric is all about ripping away the protective ignorance people tend to construct around themselves. In talking about the play after the reading, I mentioned that it was something I would probably show to participants in one of my self-defense workshops.

I would dearly love to actually perform this on stage, though I suspect opportunities to be very limited. It is a very good play, has only one male and one female part, and competition for the parts is likely to be fierce.

I’m going to go, now, and bask in the memory of the awesomeness that is The Professional Eye-Opener.

“To be, or…..LINE!”

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Started going to Reader’s Theater tonight. It’s a monthly group that gets together and reads scripts aloud. Even though I’m the youngest person there (by at least 2 decades), I had a lot of fun. It’s good to be using my voice in ways that just don’t come up in normal conversation. It’s probably one of the things I miss about high school: theater. I was never good enough to even dream of going pro with it, but I do miss communicating with an audience.

We did two short pieces tonight, one by a local playwrite and one by Allan Ball (of Six Feet Under fame). The first was pretty much an atmospheric/interview style piece, where the main character is reminiscing about the desegregation bussing issues in south Boston. The second was a brief skit called “The M Word”. Absolutely hilarious. Even better since I got to read the male part. It was a two person cast for it. No names, the script listed the characters as “Man” and “Woman”.

I’m definitely looking forward to next month, and wish they met more often than once a month.