Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


Kids, get your drama shoes on

A young actors readers theater is forming in Boring


Nutz-n-Boltz Theater in Boring wants to encourage young actors to explore and practice their talents, said Kelly Lazenby, artistic director.

To achieve that goal, Lazenby is starting a readers theater for young actors, mainly between the ages of 12 and 15, but Lazenby said she would allow younger readers to be a part of the theater if they “are really good readers.”

Cold auditions from the script will be held from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at the theater inside the Boring-Damascus Grange Hall in downtown Boring.

The auditions are designed to form a group of readers, who will continue to rehearse and perform weekend plays, probably three or four times each year, in a young actors readers theater.

Lazenby intends that the readers theater experience be educational in more ways than just how to read a script. In addition, she intends to teach the youths something about each play and playwright.

“We want to read classic plays,” she said, “and learn a little bit about them and do some research on the history of the play and its author. Classic plays are woefully under-performed.”

Kids in the middle-school age group, Lazenby said, don’t have very many opportunities to perform, “so this is for them.”

No adults will be part of this group, which already has a few youths who have been coming to auditions but most aren’t ready for the more adult, professional productions.

No matter which play is to be performed by the young actors readers theater group, Lazenby said, only young actors will play all of the characters.

The first play, which has auditions set Jan. 12, is “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder. This play is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, having been performed for the first time in New Jersey in January 1938.

Wilder received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1938 for this work.

Its cast of two-dozen actors tells a story that is really a character study of those who live in an average small town in New Hampshire called Grover’s Corners.

Along with the stage manager, who narrates the story for the audience, the cast includes 22 citizens of Grover’s Corners such as four members of the Webb family and four members of the Gibbs family and an assortment of other “average American citizens” of the very early 20th century.

Wilder was dissatisfied with theater in the ‘30s, so he turned it upside down. This play has no set (except for chairs, tables and ladders) and minimal props and costumes. Actors must mime what is missing, calling on the imagination of the audience to supply what is absent.

And instead of leaving the character study for the audience to guess and interpret, Wilder has provided the stage manager as a guide — a character who can break through the “fourth wall” and communicate directly with the audience.

Add a comment