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Clark State Theater Arts Program to Present First Ever Readers Theater: Check Please

Clark State Theater Arts Program to Present First Ever Readers Theater: Check Please

October 12, 2021

The Clark State College Theater Arts Program will present Check Please Wednesday, October 27 on the patio of the Karen E. Rafinski Student Center at Clark State’s main campus at 570 East Leffel Lane, Springfield. The show begins hourly, starting at 10 a.m. with the last performance beginning at 5 p.m. 

Dating can be hard. Especially when your date happens to be a raging kleptomaniac, or your grandmother's bridge partner, or a mime. Check Please follows a series of blind dinner dates that couldn't get any worse -- until they do. Could there possibly be a light at the end of the tunnel?”  

Theresa Lauricella, professor of theatre and program coordinator for theatre & music, said finding a show title to perform under current circumstances was challenging.

“By and large, plays simply aren’t socially distanced,” she said. “Characters get into the physical space of other characters. In my heart, I wanted to do a live, in-person show, but I also wanted to keep students safe.”

Lauricella said they decided to do the show as Readers Theatre.

“Readers Theatre features the actors on stage, side-by-side. When an actor speaks to another character, they face the audience,” she said. “The audience benefits from seeing all those marvelous facial expressions. Readers Theatre also props up the script itself because the audience has less to distract them. It is simply the actors and the text.”

Lauricella said Readers Theatre is a personal favorite theatrical style and is something she wanted to do but was just waiting for the right time.

“I’d dreamed of doing outdoor theatre, too,” she said. “When a program lives in the spectacular Performing Arts Center, it is easy to stay put. Yet here we are – doing an outdoor performance – on the stunning Leffel Lane campus. It’s exciting.”

Lauricella said the audience should expect a Readers Theatre vibe, and also expect to laugh because the show is comical.

“There is truly nothing like sharing a laugh - or a cry – although this show won’t be doing that - in real-time with others,” she said.

Performances of Check Please are free and open Clark State students, staff and faculty, as well as the local community.

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