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  • FLT Golden Readers take their scripts to the community

FLT Golden Readers take their scripts to the community

on Thursday, 24 September 2015. Posted in Good life, FEATURES

Unlike typical stage performers, the Florence Little Theatre Golden Readers take their performances into the community. “We are unique because we don’t perform at the theatre. We perform out in the community,” said Rebecca Sowell, who wears many invisible hats in the troupe. She serves as director, reader, script researcher and booking agent for the group.

This FLT outreach program consists of eight senior citizens who travel around the area presenting short plays without set, props, costumes or makeup. They may not be performing under bright lights, but they are entertaining nonetheless. And, these performers do not memorize scripts, they read them instead, explained Rebecca Sowell, “To my knowledge, we are the only senior reader theater group in the state, said the retired English and drama teacher. “So, we are the best,” she jokingly told the Lunch and Learn audience at Central United Methodist Church last week.

Although reading the scripts, they try to be as entertaining as they can, she said. “We’re reminiscent of the old radio days,” Rebecca explained, adding that their audiences have to use their imagination. The FLT Golden Readers started performing in April of 2013. As a repertory company, they have five scripts which they perform by request. For the Lunch and Learn program, the readers presented the first play that Rebecca put together for them two years ago. Called “Wit and Wisdom,” it includes three short humorous skits.

They are “Under the Circumstances” by Torry Martin; “Adam’s Diary” by Mark Twain and “James Thurber’s Fables.” The second oldest show in their repertoire is “Infamy and Honor.” Rebecca developed this script by collecting snippets of news articles and letters written by area soldiers during WWII.

The third script is a one-act play, entitled, “The Song Caruso Sang,” which is about a personal recording the legendary singer Caruso gave to a friend which included a personal message. For their fourth play, Rebecca scoured old textbooks to develop the humorous “School Days, School Days,” which includes an excerpt from “Alice In Wonderland.”

The FLT readers troupe is currently in rehearsal for its newest program – an actual radio play. This Agatha Christie murder mystery was performed on radio in 1945. Rebecca says she is learning to be the foley (sound maker) for the production. The FLT Golden Readers has members ranging in age from 63 to 89 years old. The only requirement is that the readers must be age 50 and older. The group rehearses every Wednesday at the Florence Little Theatre. They perform for morning and afternoon programs within a 50-mile radius of Florence. To schedule a performance, or find out how to audition for the troupe, call the Florence Little Theatre at 662-3731.

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