Tell me a story: Tim O’Connor’s Readers Theatre is back in Nevada City |

Tell me a story: Tim O’Connor’s Readers Theatre is back in Nevada City

Cody Reeves, Bruce Kelly, Mike Cormack and Gaylie Bell-Stewart (left to right) rehearse for their upcoming Readers Theatre event, a fundraiser for the Miners Foundry.
Submitted Photo


WHAT:  Miners Foundry Cultural Center presents Tim O’Connor’s Readers Theatre

WHEN: Sunday, March 31, Doors 3:30 p.m., Show 4 p.m.

WHERE: Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City

TICKETS: $10, and are available online at, by phone 530-265-5040 or in person at Miners Foundry, and in person at BriarPatch Co-op


Tim O’Connor’s Readers Theatre returns to the Miners Foundry Cultural Center Sunday with a special program celebrating the best American short stories from 1920-1929, featuring works by Ernest Hemingway, Dorothy Parker, Ring Lardner and Sherwood Anderson, read by local readers Cody Reeves, Bruce Kelly, Mike Cormack and directed by Gaylie Bell-Stewart,

Founded by O’Connor, Readers Theatre has been called many things including “Theatre of the Mind” and “Story Time for Grown Ups,” and gained popularity during World War II when large stage plays were too expensive to produce. Using minimal props, the actor and your imagination illustrate the story.

“These are all terrific stories — I can’t pick a favorite,” said Bell-Stewart about the selected stories. “I chose one of Ernest Hemingway’s first short stories, a touching one about a young man, his father and horse racing. And there are two darkly comic ones by the masters of that genre — Dorothy Parker and Ring Lardner. Then there is ‘The Egg’ by Sherwood Anderson.”

Bell-Stewart is in her second year of directing Readers Theatre, having taken over after the passing of her good friend and mentor Tim O’Connor. Over the last year she has been adding her own touch to the popular series by grouping the stories by decades and adding music of that time to give an added dimension of history.

The 1920s were an age of dramatic social and political change. For the first time, more Americans lived in cities than on farms. The nation’s total wealth more than doubled between 1920 and 1929, and this economic growth swept many Americans into an affluent, but unfamiliar “consumer society.” It was a decade of decadence, the age of Prohibition, and jazz music was the sound track to the times.

The roaring twenties became the second renaissance in the history of American Literature. In this period, impressionism appeared along with Dadaism and Expressionism. Symbolism and surrealism became stylish and popular. High Modernism began to dominate the world of literature and art. In America, a whole new generation of younger writers, “the Lost Generation,” surfaced with their new voices.

Readers Theatre is a fundraiser for the historic Miners Foundry Cultural Center.

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