If you love theater, and also have a literary bent, reader’s theater tends to be a lovely, light and accessible option – especially at Christmastime where the act of storytelling seems to be so much more potent.
The Experiment, spearheaded by Ann Vermel, is a group exploring the opportunities readers theater can bring. For actors it offers the chance of performance without all the pressure of learning lines and for audiences, readers theater offers a chance to enjoy the written word through a live, auditory experience.
“We choose our work for language as well as story,” explains Vermel. “We believe that when the writer selects a word, that word gains presence, color, vibrance, taste and purpose that can be missed by the silent reader.
We believe that theatre is a voice for the truth, so we look for material that speaks to our times. We are not so much interested in pointing out what is wrong as we are determined to remind people of laughter and of what ‘good’ looks like, that it is all around us in many forms and faces and can be accomplished if we start by listening.
Our performers are not always actors. We draw also from people who love to read aloud and have been doing it for years, to children, grandchildren and each other.”
A Child’s Christmas in Wales by poet Dylan Thomas is their first outing and will be performed in several venues around town. The piece was written in prose by Thomas originally for the BBC Radio and then later recorded in 1952. A Child’s Christmas is known for its sense of nostalgia and the idyllic memories of childhood. Many of our notions of a “classic childhood Christmas” are rooted in Thomas’ work. Since it was originally written with an ear toward being spoken aloud, it is often offered as a Christmas reading event around the English-speaking world.
The Experiment will present A Child’s Christmas in Wales at the below times and places. If you have questions regarding the readings, please contact Ann Vermel at firstname.lastname@example.org
A Child’s Christmas in Wales
Sunday, December 9 at 11:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Fresno Art Museum.
Saturday, December 15 at 2 p.m. at the Central Branch of the Fresno County Library.