Thursday, February 28, 2013

Readers Theatre: Spoon River Anthology

On February 28th, NKA's Readers Theatre group performed an adaptation of Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology. Written in 1915, The Anthology is a collection of short free-form poems that describe life in the fictional small town of Spoon River.  Each poem is an epitaph of a dead citizen, delivered by the dead themselves. The characters speak about the sorts of things one might expect: some recite their histories, others make observations of life from the outside, and petty ones complain of the treatment of their graves. A few tell how they really died. Speaking without reason to lie, they construct a picture of life in their town that is shorn of pretense.
Many of the characters in Spoon River Anthology were based on real people that Edgar Lee Masters knew or heard of in two towns in which he lived, Petersburg and Lewistown, IllinoisA tour of graveyards in both towns reveals many of the surnames that Masters applied to his characters.
Masters' original work includes 212 separate characters, but this performance was edited for brevity by the director, Cheryl Lyda, and included only 68 characters, plus a Grave Digger, who called upon the dead to speak. 
Five happy "spoons": Mary Anne Hoffmann, Carol Nelson,
Jane Riley, Virginia Kelly, and Kathy Priddy.
Other readers included Lois Wellard, Dawn Keller, Donna Tilley, Donna Jordahl, Linda Lindley, Susan Tilley, Rosa Mena, Audene Campbell, Alma Tilley, Allan Priddy, Jean Anderson, Carole Hagler, and Ron Gill.

You're invited to next month's performance, which will be a pair of mysteries by Arthur Conan Doyle (featuring Sherlock Holmes) and Agatha Christie (featuring Hercule Poirot).
NKA members, watch for an emailed announcement with the details!