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Local Medina County News

Theater group entertains at Western Reserve Masonic Community

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    Neal Beck, left, and Pat Bishop bicker after backing into each other in “The Fender Bender,” a skit performed by the Western Reserve Masonic Community Readers Theatre Group.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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    Jan Bubsey reacts in the skit “Think Tank” after winning a game show Thursday in the Western Reserve Masonic Community Readers Theatre Group.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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    Russ Toll just wanted to order a pizza, but ran into several other problems Thursday in the skit “Public Exposure” during the Western Reserve Masonic Community Readers Theatre Group.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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    Actors Jan Bubsey, left, Pat Bishop, center, and Rosemary Haumesser want to go on a “Dream Vacation,” a skit performed Thursday by the Western Reserve Masonic Community Readers Theatre Group.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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MEDINA TWP. — Working with a group of thespians from 75 to 90 years old can be tricky at times, but the Western Reserve Masonic Community Readers Theatre Group makes it work.

The group of about 15 performers put on shows every six weeks or so in the chapel. All are residents of the Masonic community, 4931 Nettleton Road.

The show Thursday consisted of six comedic skits and was titled “April Showers Us with Laughter.” The actors read their lines instead of memorizing them.

“They don’t trust their memories any more,” said Jim Gilder, drama director.

His wife, Betsy, helps her husband with the group. Both are retired.

“We just love them,” she said. “Some of them have Alzheimer’s. It’s tricky that way. But it works.”

Jim Gilder is a retired English and drama teacher at Cloverleaf High School. He said this is his ninth year directing the theater group.

There were about 65 people in the audience, mostly residents.

“It’s one of the highlights,” Jim Gilder said. “We get a good turnout. There are a lot of family members — sons, daughters.”

Jim Gilder said he sometimes takes the show on the road, as the readers group has performed at the Medina Community Recreation Center, some churches and the Ashland Senior Center.

All performances are free and open to the public.

Gilder said his next show will be May 25. Then, they take their summer break.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.
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