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Reader’s Theatre is Thriving at Emerald Heights

July 8, 2024

Dating back to the 1930’s, Reader’s Theatre brings life to spoken words without the accoutrements of live theatre like costuming and big sets. Even with a simpler performance, the actors, participants and viewers get so much for being a part of a Reader’s Theatre.

At Emerald Heights, the Reader’s Theatre is a great way to connect with neighbors, enjoy the arts and have fun.

Ginny Ford, the founder of Emerald Heights Reader’s Theatre, was involved in an active theatre program before moving to Emerald Heights in 2021. She gained so much from being part of the arts and wanted to bring her love of the theatre to her new community.

Readers Theater Women at Emerald Heights

The Reader’s Theatre is a great way to get people involved in performance. Whether they are brand-new to theatre, have minimal experience, or are born to take center stage, Reader’s Theatre is a great fit for so many people.

The Emerald Heights Reader’s Theatre meets twice a month where they read through a script and act out the parts by using their voice. Ginny says it’s a great way for older adults to participate in theatre without the stressors of memorizing lines and stage blocking.

The Readers Theatre quickly gained popularity in the Emerald Heights community and the group had an idea to put on their first performance for their neighbors. Last year, they put on a performance comprised of a series of skits. With 14 actors, they were able to put on a beautiful show. It was a huge success, so the group produced their second performance in March.

More than 80 people attended the performance and Ginny said the actors were incredibly moved by how supportive and encouraging the audience was.

The Reader’s Theatre is planning to do at least one or two performances each year while still meeting a couple times a month to read through the scripts as a group. There are about 12 residents in the group currently, but they are always pleased to welcome anyone who would like to give it a try!

Ginny says, “The best part of the Reader’s Theatre is getting to create art as a group. So many mediums of art are solo activities, but here we are able to bounce ideas off each other and make something really beautiful as a team.”

The Reader’s Theatre is currently reading The Man Who Came to Dinner by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. The next play on the docket is Our Town by Thornton Wilder.

For those who are looking for an artistic endeavor to join, there are so many options including the Reader’s Theatre. Ginny is a huge advocate for the arts and is on the performing arts committee to ensure there are opportunities for residents to take advantage of. The committee is always looking for ways to expand its arts programs within Emerald Heights. Ginny adds, “We hope residents think about exploring the arts at Emerald Heights but if that’s not their thing, there are so many activities to try. At Emerald Heights, there is something for everyone from singers to pickleball, so you can easily find your group here. It’s amazing how busy you can be and how much fun you can have when you find your community.”

Three of the Readers Theater at Emerald Heights