Monday, May 16, 2011


Every year the Alabama Shakespeare theatre in Montgomery, AL hosts a two-day festival of new play readings and celebration of new playwrights. I enjoy the readings better than the actual performances. We audience  use our imagination "seeing" the movements, costuming, lighting. Reading is done by the young professional troupe serving a period of time performing through a play season. Young people with some professional experience, interns just learning the ropes, and older, more experienced Actor's Equity performers who yearly return until the audience recognizes them and revel in their ability to "become" a different character.

The playwrights were John Logenbaugh who wrote "Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol" a winner to see alternately every Christmas with "A Christmas Carol." Edward Morgan adapted a short story of William Faulkner's apropos to the trouble with the Mississippi River, "Twenty Seven". Action taking place during the flood of 1927 in Mississippi was dark but excellent. John Walch, who wrote "Double Time" the life a black producer who pioneered the Harlem Renaissance of plays in the late 1920's was backed  with music and lyrics by Nils Rogers who with Walch came to Montgomery for a run through. The actors in this song and dance review had only a few weeks to  prepare and carried off with superb skill and talent.

The evening productions by the Acting Company were Julius Caesar and  Moonlight and Magnolias, the latter a farce based on actuality (with a little exaggeration here and there) of the making of Gone With the Wind film.

Five hours is a long trip for three aging, female, play-lovers. Next year we're considering hiring a handsome young man who will drive us there and back. Any suggestions?

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