Experimental Staged Reading


Written by Raymond Carver
Directed by Georgia Smith

Sunday and Monday, July 2-3 7:30 pm
Gubelman Theatre
Free Admission!
In this experimental version of our popular readers theatre series, Raymond Carver’s short story, “Beginners,” will be presented verbatim, without cutting or altering a word – but as theater. Actors will take the parts of the different characters in the story, bringing them to life within the narrative.  Featured island readers are Duvie Dow, Francie Hansen, Penelope Haskew, Bobby Ryan, Douglas Schirmer, Krista Strutz and Greg Swinford.

The technique of staging a short story as a play has been developed to a high point by the widely praised San Francisco theater troupe Word for Word. We will use some of their methods as the basis for our semi-staged reading.

“Beginners” is classic Carver: two men, two women, a couple bottles of gin, and a helpless longing for love. This is a story that has provoked a lot of controversy in the publishing world.  Most readers know it as the famous title story of Carver’s collection “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.”  But that title – and quite a bit of the writing in the published version – were the work of Carver’s aggressive editor, Gordon Lish. The version that we will present is Carver’s original work, as published by his widow Tess Gallagher, just a few years ago. Carver fans are guaranteed to find this a fascinating discovery.