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The Actor’s Table of Eugene explores ‘faith’ through readings

The Actors’ Table of Eugene (TATE) will flood Tsunami Books once more with Leaps of Faith. It’s an evening of the trials and triumphs of trust, whether in ourselves or the divine.

TATE is on fire, as literally every theater person I ran into this month was planning a reading. Founder Judy McKenzie has expanded her production team, enlisting the help of Emily Hart and Carol Massahos. 

The Actors’ Table is an evening of readings from the favorite scenes of local theater artists, so the fare will run from classic to contemporary, and all of it will be deeply personal. Greg Foote and Carol Denis will be reading from their own work. 

I checked in with Paul Calandrino, who will be performing the Raymond Carver poem “You Don’t Know What Love Is (an evening with Charles Bukowski).” 

“When the producers first announced the theme of the show as ‘faith’ I thought that might rule me out because I’m not a person of faith,” Calandrino says, explaining his inspiration. Then he hit on the perfect idea. “I thought of the Carver poem, which I’ve loved for years … It’s about that secular faith of my generation, love. He’s 51 years old, he says, and he’s in love with this 25-year-old ‘broad.’ It’s a huge leap of faith for the dissolute poet, famous for a long string of disastrous love affairs. I find the poem to be hilarious, grotesque and moving, just like Bukowski and Carver themselves.”

Hilarious, grotesque and moving sounds like good theater to me, and this is just one of the many pieces to be read at TATE. Seating is tight so show up early. Suggested donation is $5-$10.  Pay it if you got it, and if not, come anyway.

TATE runs one night only, 8 pm Saturday, Nov. 17, at Tsunami Books.