If, in attending the play readings periodically held at the Arts Society of Kingston (ASK) and other venues, you’ve ever been tempted to give a reading a shot yourself, the Actors’ Marathon is for you. Held on Tuesday, January 17 at 6:30 p.m. at ASK, located at 97 Broadway in Kingston’s Rondout District, the Marathon is a follow-up to a similar event held at ASK during the summer, noted Lewis Gardner, playwright and ASK president. Everyone, from the bona fide actors participating in the reading to audience members who took up the challenge of taking on a character on the spot, had such a good time that he’s doing it again with the same material: a collection of his short works titled People I Have Known – Real and Otherwise.
With such a variety of works being read – the shorts range from comedies to tragedies and include some monologues – the event offers aspiring actors a chance to try their hand at portraying any number of characters, Gardner said. Depending on the turnout, there might be multiple opportunities for audience member/actors.
At the last event, everyone sat in one big circle, rather than in rows of seats, dissolving the barrier between performers and spectators. That will probably be the setup this time around. Besides offering an invigorating experience to actors, such readings are invaluable to the playwright, of course, transforming words on the page to performances onstage: a process that often involves edits and rewriting. It’s theater-in-the-making, so whether you want to perform or just watch, check it out.
Performers should arrive at ASK at 6:30; the audience will assemble at 7 p.m. Send an e-mail with your name to [email protected] if you want to participate. The material is suitable for people over age 16. Admission to the Marathon is free and the snow date is January 24. For more information about ASK, visit www.askforarts.org.