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Readers’ Theater Web Series: A New Twist For Kings Players


FROM THE 2020 Articles,
andWeb Series & Vlogs

by Hugh Munro Neely

What can you do if you enjoy live theater, but your local performing group has had to shutter its doors because of Covid-19? Well, Kings Players has an answer for you: a new web series you can watch on the kingsplayers.org website, designed just for these times and featuring 15 local performers.

Spooky Stories …to Keep You 6-feet Apart! is an eight-part video series featuring classic tales of the supernatural. Each episode runs eight to twenty minutes in length and is performed for the camera by established performers from the local theater scene.

“Our series is a little different from an audio book or radio show,” says director Hugh Munro Neely. “Actors reveal their characters with their faces as well as their voices, so we use one actor for each character as well as multiple narrators, and film each separately so we can maintain appropriate social distancing during production. There are no period costumes, but we use colorful and atmospheric lighting to set the mood for each story.”

Photo from last night’s recording of Episode 6, “The Ninth Skeleton”. Pictured, left to right, Hugh Munro Neely, Director and Stephan des Jardins, actor.

The stage of the Temple Theater, where Kings Players usually perform, has been transformed into an impromptu film studio where performers record their parts for classic tales, including “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Monkey’s Paw,” and six others. Kings Players is adding a new one to their website each Friday. The first episode was released July 10, and new ones will be posted each week, every Friday, until the series is complete.

The productions are completed in high definition with a professional polish, and Los Angeles film and television composer Jeffrey Silverman even volunteered to create an original Spooky Stories Theme to play under the titles.

“Our first video has already been viewed by more people than we can fit in our little theater,” said Board President Mike Spicer. “We really hope the series will introduce our productions to an even wider audience, so that when we can safely reopen, we’ll be able to welcome an even greater audience to the beautiful little theater we call home.”

Check out kingsplayers.org for all the current videos and for information on next year’s anticipated season.

If you love local theatre, be sure to check out our new Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors. You can check the podcast out on iTunes/Apple Podcasts and Google Play, and also on podbean. Also check out our other theatre articles and reviews in our Arts and Entertainment section.

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