The simplistic interpretive art form of Readers Theatre has become increasingly popular on Panorama’s campus. What started out as a subunit of the Drama Group has transformed into its own group of 30 active members performing seven different programs throughout the year.
Readers Theatre is a form of storytelling that relies almost entirely on the actor’s voice and facial expressions; use of costumes and props is limited and stage set-up is minimalistic. Scripts are often short plays or a collection of readings that revolve around a common theme. For the Panorama Readers Theatre group, material is sometimes written by one of the directors; otherwise a commercial script is used, with funding support provided by the Resident Council.
Readers Theatre at Panorama is a friendly neighbor to two other theatre-style groups; KPan Players and Kaleidoscope Productions. From the perspective of the group’s president, Jeanette Willis, the three groups complement each other by providing varying opportunities for members to cultivate their skills and creativity.
“The more opportunities you have to practice this craft, the stronger everyone becomes. We strengthen each other and Readers Theatre is for those who love the sound of written language.”
The idea that practice makes perfect is seen in the fact that each of the year’s seven performances is managed by a different director, all who started out as actors and let their talent grow. Membership is open to all Panorama residents, with no required auditions. They do encourage all who are interested in Readers Theatre to begin with participating in monthly Open Table gatherings where residents, including some Readers Theatre members, bring story selections to share aloud. It’s a casual starting point for anyone who wants to share.
Right now, the group is gearing up for their big holiday show on the 16th. They will be performing ” The Grand Christmas History of the Andy Landy Clan” by Jules Tasca, directed by Gail Madden and Elaine Rost. Stay tuned for a review of this show!