Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Staged Reading Series Review: Love Letters

As Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's inaugural staged reading series comes to a close on Tuesday, May 13, with Lonely Planet, we'll do a brief overview about the previous readings this week. To date, there have been four nights of staged readings and five scripts read during the 2007-2008 season. Each was performed in the Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette on the Tuesday after the opening night for each Civic MainStage production.

Love Letters by A.R. Gurney was directed by Alice Schwind and read December 4, 2007. It was presented with Plaid Tidings.

Love Letters is unique among the scripts in this season’s staged reading series because it was conceived by Gurney to be read aloud onstage. The actors portraying Andrew and Melissa sit at separate desks reading their scripts as though they are reading the letters they write to one another. In the script, Gurney encourages actors not to memorize their lines.

Andrew and Melissa become acquainted early in life and their first letters to one another reflect that — invitations to birthday parties, thank you letters their parents required them to write — but as they grow up, attend school, go away to college, get married, have kids and live their lives, their correspondence changes in tone as they discuss their hopes and dreams, failures, insecurities and realize that their friendship has deepened into love.

The cast for the staged reading of Love Letters was:

Andrew Makepeace Ladd III — Arliss Jeffries
Melissa Gardner — Sally Coffman

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