Archive for Thursday, May 7, 1998

TO THE EDITORS BECOME ONE-WOMAN SHOW

May 7, 1998

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A former Lawrence resident has learned to appreciate her grandmother's writings.

Amy Dorsey has been receiving letters from her grandmother, Lawrence resident Julia Galas, for years. But it wasn't until Dorsey moved away from Lawrence two years ago that she really began to appreciate the humor and insight of her grandmother's writings.

Now, Dorsey, an actress and education director at the Creede Repertory Theatre in Creede, Colo., is performing a one-woman show based on those letters.

``When I moved to Creede, it was 13 hours away so my grandmother would write and send me boxes of stuff,'' Dorsey said, adding that it was first time her grandmother had written to her as an adult. ``People in the theater saw the boxes ... and they'd listen to me read the letters in the costume shop.''

Galas' topics were varied, from Princess Diana's death to kissing to the Mafia.

One day, a friend recommended that Dorsey compile the letters into a show. She asked Tom Smith, a director-actor and friend, to help her with the project.

What resulted is ``Letters from Grandma,'' which has been performed several times in Creede and is coming Sunday afternoon to Lawrence Community Theatre, 1501 N.H.

``She has quite a following (in Creede),'' Dorsey, who graduated from Lawrence High School and studied theater for five years at Kansas University, said about her grandmother. ``They wanted her to be grand marshal for the parade on the Fourth of July.''

Galas, who is in her late 70s, probably won't make the trip.

Dorsey said until her friends and co-workers became enthralled by her grandmother's letters she took their relationship for granted.

``She's intelligent, funny and a caring person,'' she said. `` ... We're both very opinionated and talk a lot.''

Dorsey said she is nervous about Sunday's performance. Her grandmother, who has not seen the show yet, will be in the audience.

-- Jan Biles' phone message number is 832-7146. Her e-mail address is jbiles@ljworld.com.

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