Los Altos storyteller and dramaturg Enid Davis is recruiting seniors for a dramatic stage reading of George Orwell’s iconic fable “Animal Farm,” adapted for the stage by Ian Wooldridge.
Orwell’s allegory chronicles the breakdown of supposedly rational social structures when a charismatic dictator leads a community into scapegoating and hypocrisy. He wrote the satire as a critique of Stalinism, but its depiction of how political dogma degrades into meaningless propaganda has resonated with readers around the world in the decades since it was first published in 1945.
“I guess creating this play is my way of doing something with, and for, people,” said Davis, alluding to the timeliness of a play focused on political anxiety.
Previous acting experience is not required for the weekly class – dubbed “Mondays on the Stage with George.” In the culminating performances, student-actors will read aloud from a script in a theatrical stage reading, which requires neither sets nor costumes – actors often remain seated throughout.
During the class, participants will explore the meaning of Orwell’s novel with Sharon Adams, who taught the work for 10 years at a local middle school. Davis will teach the art of reading aloud and expressing characterization with voice and body language, while Gari Gene will teach key stage management skills that can help participants relax and gain confidence.
“Mondays on the Stage with George” will include six weeks of practice and two performances, all at Avenidas’ temporary location at Cubberley Community Center, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto.
The class is scheduled 3-5 p.m. Mondays Oct. 30 through Dec. 11 (no class Nov. 27), with performances slated 7 p.m. Dec. 15 and 2 p.m. Dec. 16. The class fee is $150.
To pre-register for the class, which is offered through the seniors-focused nonprofit Avenidas, call Davis at 948-5971.
For more information, visit storyfriends.org.