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About the show
by Carla Woebbeking, Director
When Annette Kamps suggested a Chekhov one act for our readers’ theatre repertoire, I jumped at the chance to direct it. I’ve always loved the silliness of a Chekhov one act, with the preposterous situations and the ridiculous behaviors of his characters. They are just plain fun!
The Bear is subtitled “A Joke in One Act” for good reason. Popova is a grieving widow who vows never to stop mourning for her beloved–but far from perfect–husband. Luka, her opinionated footman, is unsuccessful in his attempts to convince her to move on with her life. One day a Russian landowner named Smirnov comes to Popova’s home to collect on a debt incurred by her husband. The widow refuses to pay the debt because the seven-month anniversary of her husband’s death has put her in a “state of mind” which prohibits her from dealing with money matters. Smirnov is exasperated by her “silly feminine logic” and refuses to leave her house until she pays off the debt. The battle of the sexes soon escalates into absurdity. Who will back down first?
This performance stars Kim Doyle as Luka, Judy Hein as Popova, and James McMillan as Smirnov. Be sure to tune in to watch these three seasoned BDACT actors as they bring this classic play to life via Zoom.
So how did the BDACT Readers Theatre start?
Just recently, several BDACT members grabbed at the idea of performing without the need to memorize lines while, at the same time, adding another facet to BDACT’s ever-growing “Theatre for Everyone.” Readers Theatre is a style of theater in which the actors give interpretive readings while seated, without costumes, props, scenery, or special lighting. Typically, Readers Theatre is presented live in front of an audience, but since the coronavirus stopped that cold, our readers group realized this might work as a virtual production. So, we jumped right in, willing to face the unpredictable technical challenges. We hope you agree that it worked out pretty well. Of course, we need to learn more, but this is just the beginning! The Readers’ Theatre is open to proposals by anyone who’d like to step into this new media with all of its challenges as well as all of the fun. We’re particularly excited about this theater form since it also opens the door to those who may not be able to participate in full-fledged stage productions, but who would enjoy an opportunity like this. Of course, we’re looking forward to the first time that BDACT’s new Reader’s Theatre performs for you “live” at the BDACT Fine Arts Center!