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Finding the right time for love

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By Ann Mauzy

Los Alamos Little Theatre presents “Time Enough” as its March offering for the 2007/2008 season. The play centers on romance, honesty and vulnerability in the lives of a man and woman in their 60s. It takes place in the sitting room of an inn, where both are staying to attend a Shakespeare festival. The festival’s presentation of “Taming of the Shrew” serves to frame the couple’s prickly developing relationship. The play begins as a sort of zany comedy and progresses through drama and romance to an unexpected ending.Eric Bjorklund and Fran Martone play the couple; both have professional and semi-professional acting experience. “The experience the actors bring to these roles prepares them to ‘give’ to each other on stage and to develop subtle, yet complex characteristics and subtext for their roles,” “Time Enough” director Sue Bargeloh said. “Any director has to be thrilled when an actor comes to rehearsal and talks about his or her ideas for the character after studying the script again, as these actors do.”“Time Enough” was written by local playwright Robert Benjamin. It has been a work of love and collaboration with Benjamin and audiences in senior centers during the past four years. “It began as ‘Warm Ashes,’” Benjamin said, “Each performance was followed by a talkback discussion. The enormous positive response by audiences encouraged me to think about expanding it into a full-length play, ‘Time Enough.’”The play has continued to evolve since its premiere in Albuquerque at the Adobe Theater in 2006. Even this LALT production has benefited from open rehearsals and ensuing discussions.Benjamin said audience members may identify confusing ideas, which he then clarifies in the next iteration of the script. When they disagree strongly, for instance debating whether the man in the play is honest or a scoundrel, Benjamin strengthens both sides of this character, for conflict makes good drama.Continuing this collaboration between playwright and audience, Benjamin will engage in talkback sessions with the audience after the play Saturday, the matinee March 16 and after show at 12:45 p.m. March 10 at the Betty Ehart Senior Center.Bargeloh chose to place the audience on three sides of the “stage” in order to provide a closer connection between the audience and the emotionally intimate interactions between the characters.She said, “Directing and producing theatre-in-the-round is complex, involving different lighting, sets and even different directing from that of typical theatre. For the actors, this situation is intense, since every breath and move can be directly scrutinized by the audience—there is no room for ‘cheating.’”Benjamin may have an opportunity to see an off-Broadway production of his play later this year. Meanwhile, area audiences can see “Time Enough” at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and March 14, 15, 21 and 22. A matinee will be held at 2 p.m. March 16.Tickets are $12 for general admission, $10 for students and seniors and are available at CB Fox or at the door, 1670 Nectar St. For ticket reservations, call Bill at 662-3858.