Slow Theatre’s newest program celebrates local writers


People are seen waiting anxiously for the first performance to begin. Photo credit: Floritzel Salvador

Slow Theatre recently presented their newest program entitled “Along These Lines” at 1078 Gallery on Monday, Feb. 15.

Their first annual event, “Along These Lines,” featured local writers sharing their pieces in a theatrical way. Works ranging from essays to poems were used, encouraging submissions from the counties of Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Plumas, Sutter, Tehama and Yuba.

“What we did is we invited people from this county and surrounding counties to submit whatever they wanted as long it could be read in eight minutes or less,” said Beth Spencer, Slow Theatre board member. “It’s the first event of its kind… we’re just kind of making it up as we go.”

Linda Serrato performing her piece that was inspired by her father’s fondness for weird and unique people. Photo credit: Floritzel Salvador

Denver Latimer, executive director of Slow Theatre, explained its evolution. It all began with Slow Food, which is a non-profit organization advocating for local, good, clean and fair food for all, he said.

“We decided that the format, the model for Slow Food would be appropriate for Chico, because you know a lot of times you go to a play and it’s like a ‘New York hip,’ it’s like a regional theater premier,” Latimer said. “What does it have to do with our nexus of reality? We were going to be a theater that supports local writing that supports dramaturgy of Northern California.”

There have been tons of exceptional writers from here and have written about this area. One of Slow Theatre’s goals is to be able to “adapt that writing into a theatrical format and put it on for you,” Latimer said.

A performer at the event, Tempra Board, read an essay entitled “My Body: My Judgment.” Her piece reflected how body shaming becomes engraved in the minds of individuals before they are even old enough to realize it’s happening. This piece featured comedic sequences paired with hard-hitting experiences with body shaming that made it honest and relatable.

Tempra Board performed her piece, “My Body: My Judgement.” Photo credit: Floritzel Salvador

“I had been doing some writing in a writing group with a small group of friends and colleagues and I thought, ya know I’ve got a few pieces,” Board said. “I’d like to put them out there and just see where it goes.”

Slow Theatre strives to unite local writers to share their work theatrically and in such a genuine way that enriches the community.

“That’s what we wanna do, is celebrate local writers,” Latimer said. “This is only the beginning.”

Carly Plemons can be reached at [email protected] or @plemnz on Twitter.