Magic Theatre stages theatrical reading

NEIGHBORS

August 31, 1994|By LARRY STURGILL

The Magic Theatre is not what its name implies -- no magician waves a magic wand, no rabbits are pulled from hats, no one disappears in a cloud of smoke.

Instead, it is a place where actors and actresses can foster creativity and hone their theatrical skills.

The Magic Theatre group will close out a two-day performance at Slayton House Theatre in Wilde Lake Village today at 7:30 p.m. The cast will present a theatrical reading of an original play called "The Last Leaf," based on a short story of the same name written by American writer, O. Henry.

Admission for tonight's performance is $4.

Jeff Siegler, the founder and creative force behind the Magic Theatre, says these theatrical readings of the play are to garner interest for the full theatrical production that's scheduled for December.

Mr. Siegler says the Magic Theatre was created to present plays which focus on social activism.

"We will offer original plays which reflect the magic of life, the beauty of love and celebrate the joy of the inner spirit," says Mr. Siegler. "The Magic Theatre is a place where adults can work together to learn the science of organic acting, which uses both a psychological and a physical approach to fulfilling character development."

Mr. Siegler says the theater group is looking for a permanent home.

"We will be checking out different places in the Columbia area," he says. "We really like the Slayton House facilities and are hopeful something can be worked out with them for future presentations."

The Magic Theatre also offers classes in the organic acting method for both veteran and aspiring actors. Auditions for the full productions of "The Last Leaf" will begin in late September.

Those interested in lessons, and/or the audition, can call Mr. Siegler at (301) 774-2515.

*

As a new school year begins, I resume worrying about my children's education. Are they are getting the best education possible? Are the teachers and administrators the best available? Is anyone really listening when I express my concerns? I wonder if I'm doing all I can as a parent.

Many things have changed since I was a kid growing up in Howard County. By comparison, today's world is chaotic and unbridled, a place where fear outweighs tranquillity and violence overcomes reason. In this age, too many children are growing up too fast, without guidance.

Today, schools seem unable to cope with the rapid changes within our society and are no longer able to prepare our children for the heavy demands of living in today's world.

Some suggest that the blame for this failure lies within our educational system. Maybe, but I believe most teachers are to be commended because their task has grown increasingly difficult.

The school system cannot be blamed for all our social and educational problems. A child's education begins at home, and in too many cases, the house a child lives in is no longer a home in the traditional sense. Before- and after-school day care, latchkey kids and single-parent homes have become the norm.

But regardless of the situation within the home, we as parents have an obligation to our children. We must surround them with love, instill proper values, encourage them to pursue their dreams and point them in the right direction.

We must try to do the best we can and hope it is enough.

*

Lila Hamilton, a resident of Dorsey's Search, told me about some strange mail she received recently.

Someone, supposedly with the same last name, living in San Diego, sent her a letter explaining that they were trying to locate members of the Hamilton family to determine the proper heirs to the estate of a deceased relative.

A second letter came several days later stating that Ms. Hamilton might be an heir. It said that an attorney would be contacting her in the near future.

When she received the attorney's letter, it said that their initial research indicated she was most likely one of the heirs to a vast fortune, but that more information was needed. Enclosed was a form asking for such things as her full name, her date and place of birth, her mother's maiden name, her social security number, a copy of her birth certificate and a recent photograph. It also requested a check for $100 be enclosed to cover "investigative fees."

It was the request for money that made Ms. Hamilton suspicious. Wisely, she decided to call the attorney in San Diego for more details. When she dialed the telephone number listed on the letterhead she was connected to a pay telephone in a laundromat.

Her next call was to the mail fraud division of the U.S. Postal Service.

Who knows what may have happened had she filled out the form and mailed it back with her check. But, by listening to her intuition, Ms. Hamilton refused to participate in a potentially disastrous situation.

Sometimes it pays to listen to that little voice we sometimes hear inside our heads.

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