Jeanne Dougherty and Michael Shook in the staged reading of A.R. Gurney’s play, “Love Letters.” (Kate Dowling/Staff Photo)

Jeanne Dougherty and Michael Shook in the staged reading of A.R. Gurney’s play, “Love Letters.” (Kate Dowling/Staff Photo)

Love was in the air at Vashon Readers Theatre

A staged reading of “Love Letters” by A.R. Gurney was followed by personal stories from the audience.

A staged reading aptly titled “Love Letters” by A.R. Gurney — just in time for Valentine’s Day — was presented by director Chris Boscia Monday, Feb. 10, at the Black Cat Cabaret. After the play, audience members were encouraged to share personal stories of love.

This was the sixth production of Vashon Readers Theatre, founded by Boscia.

“I’m delighted with the variety of plays we have presented so far,” Boscia said.

Read by two island actors, Jeanne Dougherty and Michael Shook, the play focused on the lives of Melissa and Andy — beginning with notes passed back and forth in elementary school — and writing letters to each other all their lives long. This romantic play told the story through letters written of how disparate yet intricately intertwined two lives can be.

Dougherty spoke with The Beachcomber during intermission about the staged reading format of the production.

“It doesn’t require a lot of prep time,” Dougherty said. She appreciates being able to “flex your muscles as an actor.”

Boscia agreed.

“I love that VRT is a no risk process,” Boscia said. “We generally only rehearse once or twice, saving our committment to the performance itself.”

Seven audience members after the show read their own stories of love on subjects ranging from an 18-year love affair with their cat; struggling to find love in a world against you; love for a tragic brother, and love of Fairy-oke. An audience member phonetically read her diary entries written when she was six years old on tips to attract boys.

“What a great opportunity Vashon Readers Theatre is whether you are performing, directing, writing or in the audience,” said Jill Bulow, an audience member.

For more information, visit the Vashon Readers Theatre page on Facebook. “Onions in the Stew,” directed by Samantha Sherman is scheduled for Monday, Mar. 2, at the Black Cat.

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