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Cup O' Theater Presents
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Coffee house regulars would affirm that poetry and theatre mix with java as well as espresso mixes with milk.

Angela Burge, president of Eastside High School's drama booster club, had a clever idea one day after visiting Town Center Breads and Coffee in Clark's Grove.

"I came up with the idea to do reader's theater," Burge said.

Burge, who has two girls in the drama program at Eastside, wanted the students to branch outside of the school into the community with their art. She said the arts are well received in Covington, which is unusual for smaller cities.

A new, bright-eyed drama teacher at Eastside presented the perfect opportunity to try something different.

First-year drama teacher Lindsay Beaumont jumped at the chance to have her students perform outside of the school, so she devised "Cup O' Theatre with the Eastside Players" at Town Center Breads and Coffee.

"What's interesting is it's a true cold reading when you do reader's theater," Beaumont said.

Because the Eastside's fall performance this year is Neil Simons "Rumors" she wanted the students to become familiar with his style.

"I don't like fluffy plays," Beaumont said, "and actually my taste of plays, honestly, I could never do in high school."

Thursday students will perform the second act of "Barefoot in the Park" at the coffee house. She said Simon's characters are quite a stretch for the teenagers.

"These teenagers are stepping into adult roles and experiencing some of the craziness of adulthood," Beaumont said.

Students also perform 10-minute plays and monologue or poetry selections at Cup O' Theater.

"But I have to look at their selections before to make sure they don't make poor choices," Beaumont said.

Freshman Abigail Thomas played the part of Corie in "Barefoot in the Park" on Aug. 30.

Thomas had never heard of the play or seen the famous movie starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. She had to develop her character as she read the lines.

"She's [Corie] different," Thomas said. "She likes little things and looks at the whole picture - and you can tell she's really in love with her husband and really wants to impress her mom."

Not only was Thomas unfamiliar with the script, but also her acting partner. She had never met the student from Alcovy High School who played the male lead, Paul.

After act one of "Barefoot" on Aug. 30, freshman Heather Holgerson played Bennie in the 10-minute play "Attack of the Moral Fuzzies" by Nancy Beverly.

"I liked being put on the spot," Holgerson said. "Having to read things I've never read from was fun, and so was getting into character with someone I've never met before."

Beaumont explained Cup O' Theatre had several purposes besides exposing the community to more theatre.

"You can only cast so many people per semester in our production," Beaumont said, "this gives more students the chance to perform."

Burge said she is pleased with how the first night went, and credited Beaumont with part of its success.

"Lindsay is great," Burge said. "She has a great, bubbly personality, and that's what this drama program has needed for a long time."

Beaumont humbly gave her students the credit simply stating her students were amazingly talented and intelligent.

"I really hope this becomes a staple for the year that the kids look forward to," Beaumont said, "where they get to create and just have fun."