Love Actually

We’ve got a new year, a new theatre company, and a new take on an epistolary chestnut. Arizona stage veteran Eric Schoen (formerly of Southwest Shakespeare Company and Arizona Jewish Theatre) created Class 6 Theatre, a company that produces intimate shows with small groups of local actors. C6T launches its premiere production this month with A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters.

The personal play was nominated for a Pulitzer in 1990 and tells a love story that begins in grade two. Andy is conservative and upwardly mobile while his wife, Melissa, is more of an experience-seeker. The two take turns reading more than 40 years worth of each other’s letters. Rather than rehashing the banality of their daily lives, the letters – and the actors’ reactions to them – offer an honest and emotional exploration of the ongoing struggle to maintain a connection.

Love Letters usually showcases big names like Stockard Channing and Christopher Walken. Without that kind of star vehicle, Schoen focuses more on the story and invites audience members to engage their imaginations to transcend the literal.

Jan. 20-31, 2 & 7:30 p.m., 2010