Sunday, September 14, 2003

Get in the act with theater word for word

Play readings

Women's Theatre Initiative announces its annual series of Monday evening play readings. Read? Plays? If you've never tried, it, here are three reasons why you should:

1. It's cheaper than a flight to London. The group has selected four plays by top British women playwrights including Caryl Churchill and Timberlake Wertenbaker. Some of them, like the initiative's first-rate July production In Flame, are new to American audiences.

2. Play readings make you part of the act. Your imagination kicks in and suddenly each one of us is an armchair director as our mind's eye paints in sets, costumes, action.

3. For the last couple of autumns, Women's Theatre Initiative has delivered the best staged reading series in town, smart work, smartly done by some of the top professionals in Cincinnati.

The lineup:

• Sept. 22, Ironmistress by April DeAngelis explores issues of women, work, industry and social class as a widow and her daughter try to run an ironworks in the 1840s (Performance Gallery).

• Oct. 6, Three Birds Alighting on a Field by Timberlake Wertenbaker satirizes the London art market in the 1990s (Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival).

• Oct. 27, Blue Heart by Caryl Churchill are two one-acts by the great contemporary playwright (location TBA).

• Nov. 3, Jane Eyre by Polly Teale uses Bronte's original language to explore the interwoven themes of race and female sexuality (Northern Kentucky University Fine Arts Center).

All readings at 7 p.m. except Sept. 22, which begins at 8 p.m.Information: Executive director Kristin Dietsche, 604-8545.

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