Readers Theatre returns to Congregation Emanu-El

Audience members encouraged to envision plays’ actions from hearing scripts

The script for Exquisite Potential, by Stephen Kaplan, will be read during the Reader’s Theatre festival, Saturday (Jan. 26) at 7:30 p.m. at Congregation Emanu-El on Blanshard Street. (StephenKaplan.com)

Bema Productions brings days of Readers Theatre next weekend in the “black box” of the social hall of Victoria’s Congregation Emanu-El.

This particular style of theatre allows the audience to picture the action from hearing the script being read aloud, without sets, costumes or props. The readers of the three plays have been carefully chosen through auditions from both inside and outside the synagogue’s community. It will be a weekend filled with laughter, sadness and challenges.

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Exquisite Potential by Stephen Kaplan is Saturday, Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m.

It’s 1979, and the Zuckermans are visiting their Rabbi to discuss the naming service for the new child they’re expecting. However, Alan surprisingly announces that he thinks their three-year-old son is the Messiah. Flash forward to 2009 – the son is now grown up – was he right? Exquisite Potential tells the story of parental expectations, hopes, dreams, desires and fears about reaching our own potential.

And a Child Shall Lead by Michael Slade runs Sunday, Jan. 27 at 3 p.m.

This is the heroic and true story of children coming of age in Terezin, the combination ghetto and concentration camp established by the Nazis near Prague as a way station before the death camps. In the face of unspeakable horror, these children use their determination and creativity to build lives filled with hope and beauty. Their actual poems and stories are woven into a fast-paced drama, evoking the universality of children caught in the insanity of war.

Sperm Count by Stephen Orlov is Sunday, Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m.

It’s a story of a Jewish writer who seeks help from a Palestinian doctor to solve his infertility problem. And of course, David Stein’s burned-out wife, his Holocaust-survivor father, and an imaginary sperm all come along for a roller coaster ride into the bizarre world of reproductive technology.

Congregation Emanu-El is at 1461 Blanshard St. Tickets for the readings are $15 each or $40 for all three, available online at ticketrocket.co or at 1050 Meares St.

Born out of Congregation Emanu-El’s 2013 Arts Festival, Bema Productions is now in its fifth season. Winner of the Best Drama Award at Victoria’s 2016 Fringe Festival, Bema helps to support other non-profit organizations by offering productions of its main stage play each year in support of their fundraising efforts. You can also follow them on Facebook.



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