OrSVP Presents Stories by Starlight

(David Dierks, Photographer)
The stage at the Orinda Community Center Amphitheater is home to the Orinda Starlight Village Players during the summer months. This year the players are not building a theater and are performing reader’s theater productions on the bare stage.

    The Orinda Starlight Village Players (OrSVP) return this summer to the Orinda Community Center Park Amphitheater with eight weekends of entertainment starting Aug. 6 and running through Oct. 3 (dark on Labor Day weekend). Due to COVID-19 restrictions and uncertainty, OrSVP is producing eight individual shows, one each weekend, and each performed as reader’s theater.
    Normally by this date OrSVP would have a full stage built and a first production finished. The pandemic intervened. OrSVP rents the Orinda Community Center Park Amphitheater from the city. The creation of the theater usually takes five weeks of construction starting in April. State and county restrictions prevented this.
    OrSVP’s Board of Directors decided they could not ask their all-volunteer staff to spend five weeks building the theater with the threat of productions being cancelled at the last minute and the need to dismantle everything done with no productions. In response, OrSVP reworked this year’s productions.
    Enter reader’s theater.
    Reader’s theater is a minimalist style of performance where no sets are used and scripts are openly used by the cast. This means that rehearsals are minimized and can be performed with social distancing and reduced social contact.
    “The plays are cast with actors for all the parts, are directed by our wonderful directors and are performed accordingly,” said Administrative Director Jill Gelster. “Actors, however, are holding a script and performing standing in place on the stage rather than interacting. This way we can maintain social distancing.”
    Shows offered include:

    Tartuffe by Moliere, adapted by Patrick Cleary
    Two Left Feet by P.G. Wodehouse with The Town in the Library, the Library in the Town by  Edith Nesbit
    A Triple Tryst of Terror (including Edgar Allan Poe’s The Black Cat, W.W. Jacobs’ The Monkey’s Paw and Saki’s The Open Window)
    Don Quixote, adapted by Matthew Garlin
    Seven Keys to Baldpate Inn by George M. Cohan
    A Familiar Visage by Eddie Peabody
    Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu
    Bill Chesman’s Mini 10 Minute Play Festival

    Auditions for the shows are by appointment only starting July 10. Each production contains a variety of parts (m/f/non-binary, old and young).
    “The auditions will be held at the Orinda Community Center Park. We will audition five people per 30-minute time slot,” said Gelster.
    In addition to the acting parts, OrSVP is searching for stage, light and sound technicians and is willing to train.
    For more information, contact info@orsvp.org or visit www.orsvp.org.

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