On Theater: Intimate play takes over at Golden West for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and one theater company is planning to celebrate it by exchanging "Love Letters."

That would be Golden West College, where A.R. Gurney's two-character play of that title — meant to be read rather than performed — will settle in for a long weekend Feb. 10 to 13.

Each of the four performances will be a little different from the others. That's because Golden West has four different casts, under as many directors, in rehearsal for the quartet of one-shot performances.

" 'Love Letters' is a delightfully warm, engaging, unique and imaginative piece of reader's theater," said Tom Amen, one of the college's two regular faculty directors, who will stage the final performance. The other three are being directed by students.

"The play is comprised of letters exchanged over a lifetime between two people who grow up together, go their separate ways, yet continue to share confidences," he said. "As a duo of actors read the letters aloud, what is created is an evocative, touching, frequently funny and ultimately poignant portrait of two soulmates that share a lifelong love affair."

The first performance, scheduled for Feb. 10, will feature Senja Kunzler and Jonathan Dean as the lovers. Alec Malcynski is directing this segment.

On Feb. 11, Angelique Pivoine and David Steen take the stage under the direction of Laurie Reynolds. Bethany Hamrick directs the Feb. 12 version, and her cast is composed of Holly Englemann and Rio Magdaleno.

Amen has chosen Michelle Terrill and Lawrence Hemingway as his cast members.

Being an intimate acting exercise, "Love Letters" doesn't require a huge stage or an elaborate set. Thus, all performances will be given in the college's smaller Stage West Theater adjacent to the large Mainstage Theater.

TOM TITUS reviews local theater for the Independent.

If You Go

What: "Love Letters"

When: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10 to 12 and 2 p.m. Feb. 13

Where: Stage West Theater, Golden West College, 15744 Goldenwest St., Huntington Beach

Information: (714) 895-8150 or http://www.gwctheater.com

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