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Invisible Theatre to do play reading series up this weekend
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Invisible Theatre to do play reading series up this weekend

Playwright Kathleen Clark finds inspiration in many sources.

For years, Kathleen Clark has been writing one-act plays for an older actress in her hometown of Leonia, New Jersey.

A small community theater there, the Players Guild of Leonia, has an annual playwriting festival. Clark’s elderly friend is a gifted actress who left New York City and her career there and ended up in Leonia.

But acting still ran in her veins. She often keeps busy with stage work at the community theater.

“The older she gets, the fewer parts there are for her,” says Clark in a phone interview from her home.

Then a sort of light bulb went off: The nationally recognized Clark could write for her.

“I have this fantastic actress in town who just wants to act. So when the festival comes up, I write a play for her every year. And she does them. I am so thrilled with this relationship.”

Seven of those one-acts make up Invisible Theatre’s reading series, “Let’s Live A Little,” through Sunday.

The plays are not a continuation of one character; Clark wrote a completely different play every year for her friend.

“The thing these plays have in common is every leading character is a woman over 65,” says Clark. “But it’s not about getting old. It’s about life and all these things that happen to us. … It’s about grabbing on to life.”

While her friend inspired some of Clark’s characters, the playwright has pulled from other sources, as well.

“My parents are so inspiring to me,” she says. “They are funny and smart. (The plays’ characters) get into these situations that are straight from my parents. But they represent so many people.”

Clark often fashions plays wrapped in humor and warmth — she wrote the tender “In The Mood,” which IT has staged, and the funny and heartfelt “Southern Comfort,” which both IT and Live Theatre Workshop have produced.

She will be in Tucson for the readings and will participate in discussions after each performance.

Betsy Kruse Craig, who long satisfied Tucson audiences as both an actress and a director, comes in from her Northern California home to direct the one-acts.

Contat reporter Kathleen Allen at or 573-4128. On Twitter: @KallenStar

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Kathleen has covered the arts for the Star for 20 years. Previously, she covered business, news and features for the Tucson Citizen. A near-native of Tucson, she is continually amazed about the Old Pueblo's arts scene and feels lucky to be covering it.

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