Readers’ Theatre was started in August 1909 by Don Boyes, a former teacher who had experience of introducing play-reading to young people, as a booster to their self-confidence and social integration. The adults were keen to try it as an interesting pastime, and after a series of workshops a group of readers began meeting regularly to read plays and prepare programmes for public presentation. A grant from the New Horizons programme provided funds for the script library and props needed to begin to form an ongoing active society. It has continued ever since, with ups and downs in membership and local notice. Right now there are half a dozen members who meet regularly (Monday mornings, 10-12, at the Seniors Centre) to read all kinds of plays, and chat about drama in general. A spin-off from this activity (although it was the original plan) has been the development of ‘WordPlay’, public performances of plays, generally drawing on other interested parties to fill out the cast and using scripts but with no or very few props or stage action. These have included in recent years Dürrenmatt’s The Visit, Priestley’s Outward Bound, Shaw’s Pygmalion, and Christopher Fry’s The Lady’s Not For Burning.
We also have fun with short plays and skits and sketches, generally for informal performances, as for residents of Braehaven and Meadowbrook, parties at the Seniors Centre, for Probus programmes, etc. All interested parties are cordially invited to come along to one of our meetings – no obligation to read! – and see what we’re up to.