Play Reading SIG

Do you love reading plays?  Our SIG gives participants a chance to read aloud and analyze scenes and characters from prize-winning plays. 

We meet once or twice per month for two hours, usually on a Friday afternoon, so as not to conflict with other OLLI courses.  During the year we are open to suggestions as to which plays to read, while in the summer we choose plays that we can both read and view. 

We encourage our members to prepare and lead discussions on plays that interest them.  Thriving on group participation, we allow two sessions to cover each one.  Particular editions are selected that can be obtained online or through your local public library.

We meet on Zoom, except in summer when we meet in-person or in a hybrid format (both in-person and Zoom.

Please contact  Alice RothBarbara Waldinger or Karel Fisher for more details or additional information about the Play Reading SIG.

Schedule of Forthcoming Play Reading Events

Summer Schedule

We will be having some in-person meetings this summer.  These should be fun, social occasions!  All meetings are on Friday afternoons from 3:00 to 5:00 pm.

June 7 & 21:  (Facilitator: Karel Fisher) Boeing, Boeing by Marc Camoletti.  This play is a French farce that was translated and adapted for English-speaking audiences in 1962.  Barrington Stage will be showing this play in July, with Julianne Boyd as director.  From Wikipedia: "The play is set in the 1960s, and centers on bachelor Bernard, who has a flat in Paris and three airline stewardesses all engaged to him without knowing about each other. Bernard's life gets bumpy, though, when his friend Robert comes to stay, and complications such as weather and a new, speedier Boeing jet disrupt his careful planning.  Soon, all three stewardesses are in the city simultaneously and catastrophe looms.”  

Location:  Hybrid.  In-person at BCC Pittsfield , Room F102 (next to the OLLI office, near the auditorium).  Or attend via Zoom.

July 12 & 26:  (Facilitator: Paula Kaplan-Reiss) Flight of the Monarch by Jim Frangione.  The play has its regional premiere in August at Shakespeare & Company’s Bernstein Theater, in a joint production with Great Barrington Public Theater.  The director is Judy Braha.  From the theater website:  "Two siblings, Sheila and Thomas, were both born and raised in a small, New England fishing village where they still live. This darkly comic play explores how siblings’ lives are intertwined, what we owe to the people who know and love us best, and how family members’ needs and desires may push the boundaries of what we can be expected to do for others.”

Location:  In-person at a member’s home in Canaan, NY.  If you would like to attend, contact me for directions.

Aug. 9 & 23:  (Facilitator: Alice Roth)  The Weir by Conor McPherson.  This play by Irish playwright Conor McPherson premiered in London in 1997 and won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play.  It will be shown at Berkshire Theater Festival’s Unicorn Theater in late September and October, directed by Eric Hill.  Three men and a woman gather in a pub one evening in rural Ireland and entertain each other with ghost stories, but the mood takes an ever darker turn.  From the theater website: "The play unfolds as a tapestry of supernatural narratives interwoven with personal tragedies, showcasing the haunting power of storytelling that binds individuals together in unexpected ways. McPherson’s deft touch and the raw emotions brought forth by the characters create an unforgettable theatrical experience that lingers long after the curtain falls.”

Location:  TBD

Sept. 13 & 27:  (Facilitator: Rachel Brier) How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel.  Written by American playwright Paula Vogel, this play won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1998.  According to Dramatists Play Service, the play is “a wildly funny, surprising and devastating tale of survival as seen through the lens of a troubling relationship between a young girl and an older man.  How I Learned to Drive is the story of a woman who learns the rules of the road and life from behind the wheel.” Vogel was inspired to write the play after reading Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita.

Location:  TBD

Getting the Scripts

We will be reading from the editions listed below.  

Boeing Boeing by Marc Camoletti.  Samuel French acting edition, available from Concord Theatricals for $10.95 here.  This is the latest edition, translated by Beverley Cross and Francis Evans.

Flight of the Monarch by Jim Frangione.  Jim Frangione is the artistic director of Great Barrington Public Theater.  Please email me if you plan on attending. 

The Weir and Other Plays by Conor McPherson.  Theater Communications Group, 1999.  The paperback edition is available for $11.60 from Amazon here.  

How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel.  Dramatists Play Service, Acting Edition.  Available for $14.00 here.

Whence the Muse:  Four Writers on Writing

Have you ever thought of writing a play … a poem … a story?  You may be interested in this OLLI class that is starting in June (Mondays at BCC).  Four writers will talk about how they became writers and their writing process.  Richard Matturro, Kate Sontag, Bob Reiss, and Steven Somkin will talk about writing short stories, poems, novels, and plays, respectively.  Click here for details.

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