Acting Up, Hamilton-Gibson’s free readers theatre program for adults 55 and older is entering its 16th season on Tuesday, Sept. 11. Barbara and Larry Biddison are the program coordinators.
Since 2002 when Acting Up began, an ever-changing group of fun-loving men and women has gathered in the living room at the Hamilton-Gibson office at 29 Water Street in Wellsboro from 2 to 3 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, September through May. There are no fees and no long-term commitments.
The one-hour sessions bring together congenial and mutually supportive people in a relaxed, informal atmosphere that provides a low-key, low-pressure opportunity to experiment with “reading with expression.”
The main focus on Tuesdays is a group reading of a story or play or a series of poems. Participants often bring short poems, humorous stories, or thoughtful articles to share aloud with the group. They also enjoy bringing to life vintage radio scripts, interesting essays and original short plays written by Acting Up participants.
“There’s always plenty of fun stuff to read aloud among friends,” said Larry.
Each Acting Up session is self-contained. Those present are not obligated to attend other sessions.
Though regular attendance is not required, the Biddison’s are pleased with the strong repeat turnout. “We look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones,” Barbara said, adding, “It’s a safe place for people who have a fear of speaking in public, as well as for those who have always wanted to act but weren’t ready for the stage. Several participants have gone on to be in Hamilton-Gibson radio plays and HG Women’s Project productions while continuing to attend Acting Up and Acting Out.”
When an invitation is received to perform outside HG’s familiar living room, any volunteers who feel up to the challenge of reading aloud in public can become participants in the Acting Out program. Acting Out offers entertainment for schools, senior centers, libraries, and churches, as well as for the Wednesday Morning Musicales, the Gmeiner Brown Bag Series, the Hamilton-Gibson Summer Fringe Festival, Mansfield Free Public Library, the Knoxville Public Library, and Country Terrace.
Anyone interested in seeing what Acting Up is all about is welcome to attend a Tuesday session. For more details, contact Larry or Barbara Biddison at (570) 724-4586.