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upcoming theater at the Firehouse

GleeClubFirehouse center for the arts presents

Senior Readers' Theater

Sat, Nov 2

Two radio plays Nine Prisoners and The Pussycat and the Expert Plumber Who Was a Man.

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The 39 Steps at The Firehouse Centerthe Firehouse presents frederick knott's

"Wait Until Dark"

November 14-24

A con man, two ex-cons, a doll and a blind woman. What happens when the lights go out?

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SnowWhiteTheater in the Open presents

A Winter Wonderland Panto

Fri, Dec 13 - Sun, Dec 22

Interactive holiday panto full of bad puns, slapstick & fairy tale magic.

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GleeClubthe 12th Annual

The New Works Festival 2014

NEW DATES! Sat, Jan 24 - Sun, Feb 1

Our annual event which supports & showcases the development of local writers, directors and actors.

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Senior Readers' Theater presents two radio plays

Nine Prisoners by William March

The Pussycat and the Expert Plumber Who Was a Man by Arthur Miller

Saturday, November 2, 1PM

First published as a short story in the December 1931 issue of Forum Magazine, Nine Prisoners written by William March is the harrowing story of a group of American soldiers who are issued a brutal command that many are unwilling to carry out.  The lives of the soldiers who refuse the order as well those who follow through with it are forever changed in this captivating look at terrible human cost of war.  

An early example of Arthur Miller’s caustic, ironic humor, The Pussycat and the Expert Plumber Who Was a Man was first broadcast on the radio on September 29, 1940.   In it Mr. Miller goes after politicians as corrupt and self-involved and gleefully mocks the integrity of the press as well as the gullibility and foolishness of the voting public.  An updated version of The Emperor’s New Clothes, the drama involves a cat, Tom Thomas, who, after learning to speak, decides to blackmail his way into becoming mayor. With a statewide network of felines providing him with scandalous details of his fellow candidates, Tom sets his sights on becoming governor.  The only person capable of stopping him is a thoroughly honest man.


Senior Readers’ Theater is show business without the stress! Readers’ theater is performed seated and there is no memorization required. Together, over a six-week period, participants explore a script in detail, develop a character, focus on the use of voice and gestures, and now finally- here they are performing for the community!

Individuals aged 55 and older, regardless of experience, are welcome to participate in Senior Readers' Theater and all have the opportunity to share in the extensive knowledge of instructor Charles Van Eman. This program iis designed to be a welcoming, non-threatening way to experience the magic of the theater.


CHARLES VAN EMAN: For over 30 years Charles Van Eman worked as an actor in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, and Boston. His television and film credits include Drop Dead Diva, 96 Minutes, Unstoppable, Vampire Diaries, One Tree Hill, Prison Break, Ghost Whisperer, CSI Miami, All My Children, and The Colbys. His most recent stage work has been at the Firehouse Center for the Performing Arts in The Christina Experiment, and at The Actors Studio of Newburyport in The Goat or Who is Sylvia.
As a writer he adapted Louis L’Amour short stories and a novel into internationally distributed audio dramas for Random House Publishing. He co-wrote 20 episodes of the Atlanta based internet drama series High Rise. His solo plays, Beginner's Mind and Jack’s Hat have both been performed in Newburyport. He is the author of two novels, On The Way To Pomona and The Weight of Loss. The children’s play, The Maiden Voyage of Meaghan O’Dell written with Anna Smulowitz is his most recent project.
He is tremendously grateful to the Firehouse for entrusting him with their new readers' theater program. He is looking forward to discovering and nurturing new talent and embracing those in the community with whom he has worked in the past.

This event is produced by the Firehouse with partial funding provided by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.


This event is FREE! and open to the public and reservations are not required. First come, first served. Donations greatly appreciated.

Readers’ Theater is performed seated and not memorized. The actors use vocal expression, minimal props and sound cues to help the audience understand the story.

***Interested in participating in the Senior Readers' Theater? SRT will be on break through the summer and resume once again in the fall. Stayed tuned for next year' s session dates!

Questions? Contact