Traverse City Record-Eagle

March 8, 2013

Essays on living come to life at Old Town Playhouse

By CYMBRE FOSTER Special to the Record-Eagle
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — A little reminiscent of old-time radio.

That’s how director Steve Morse describes the upcoming performance of “Looking Over My Shoulder,” a piece created by local playwright Anne Marie Oomen.

The narrative will be performed by members of the recently formed Aged to Perfection group in a Reader’s Theater format in the lower level of the Old Town Playhouse at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, March 12 and 13.

“Aged to Perfection is a program designed for seniors 55 and over,” said Morse, who is also a veteran actor. “There’s no memorization, long rehearsal schedules and in many ways, it’s like listening to a radio show produced in front of a live audience.”

In addition, Morse said that the shows are usually less than an hour long and require no special costumes or props.

In “Looking Over My Shoulder,” actors are behind music stands and read from Oomen’s script, created from an extended education class she taught in 2000. She asked class participants, most over the age of 60, to write essays about their childhood memories.

“She’s taken 10 of the best essays and woven them together into a very believable and interesting script,” said Morse, who said he also finds many of the stories timeless. “I think this will be a very nostalgic and entertaining evening.”

June Neal, who has been involved with the playhouse for many years, said Aged to Perfection is something that the Old Town Playhouse has wanted to do for a long, long time and the response has been very positive so far.

“The nice thing is you don’t have to have any acting experience,” she said. “You just have to read. It’s really quite painless.”

In fact, two of the readers in the production have never acted before, said Neal.

“They never thought they would do anything like this,” she said.

Oomen will attend opening night for discussion, followed by a question and answer period.

The Reader’s Theater will be held in the Schmuckal Studio in the lower level of Old Town Playhouse.

There is no charge, but donations are accepted. There is open seating and it is limited. Doors open at 7 p.m.

For more information, call 947-2210.