LETTERS ALOUD Set for Edmonds Center for the Arts, 2/14; ACT Theatre in Seattle, 2/16
What happens when a letter crafted uniquely for one reader is put on stage for all to see? Intimate thoughts laid bare, intended for one, are held up for us like a mirror, making us reflect on our own hearts, lives, and times. Letters Aloud, the reading series that brought you last year's Father's Day event DEAR DAD, embraces the theme of romantic love in the upcoming "WITH OR WITHOUT YOU - letters of loving, longing and leaving". By turns steamy and sweet, this selection of personal letters from such luminaries as Ansel Adams, Henry Miller, Frida Kahlo, Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Taylor, Henry VIII and Guns 'n Roses guitarist Slash will inspire your passions-and maybe that Valentine's Day card that you have yet to write.
Host and curator Paul Morgan Stetler will be joined by some of Seattle's most accomplished actors to read letters written by famous (and infamous) people aloud in front of a live audience. Live music and images-many of the letters themselves-help evoke the life, times, and unique personalities of each letter-writer. Every episode of Letters Aloud focuses on a central theme, with letters from every era carefully chosen to explore that theme. These most private thoughts, now exposed, reach across time and place, wanting to be seen and heard-Letters Aloud makes it impossible to look away.
Letters Aloud was founded in 2013 by Paul Morgan Stetler, as a way to connect a live audience to famous (and infamous) historical figures through their intimate personal correspondence. "I've always been a big fan of reading letters from famous people," said Stetler, "and recently stumbled upon some fantastic websites devoted to sharing images of rare letters. I'd find myself constantly reading these letters aloud to my wife and friends. They're so personal - it feels like the person is speaking right to you from the past. And I just got it in my head that this would make a great series of live presentations...a genuine connection to our past and how this way of correspondence is a dying art."
The inaugural episode, titled DEAR DAD, was presented at ACT Theatre on Father's Day, June 16th, 2013 to great success. Nancy Guppy, host of Seattle Channel's ArtZone remarked: "It makes you reflect on the world and your own life and our personal connection to history. What a great idea for a show."
Stetler has since been joined by Jamie Herlich and Louis Broome as producing partners.
Letters Aloud is now an official LLC with the goal of producing a regular series of live podcasts in the Seattle area throughout the year.
For more information about Letters Aloud, visit www.lettersaloud.com.