When the characters respond to letters as quickly as they receive them, the exchange onstage speeds up.
“There are certain lines where we fall all over each other, we don’t finish our sentences,” Zaido said. “Timing is a key element.”
Oliver, who trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, has been involved in community theater on the North Shore for 38 years. She has directed Archer in a number of plays, including “Love Letters” several times, but this is the first time she’s worked with Zaido.
“Patricia is a brilliant woman and takes direction very well,” she said.
After Zaido and Archer decided to do “Love Letters” together last year, they both agreed that their performance should benefit Salem Theatre Company.
“I always thought it was wonderful, the things they do there, and they’ve been doing it for 10 years,” Zaido said. “I thought maybe if we could fill the house for two nights, we could raise some money for Salem Theatre Company, and we would bring people to that theater who haven’t been there before.”
“Love Letters” is part of the Salem Theatre Music & More Series, which will continue Friday, March 1, with Montana Skies, a guitar and cello duo; folk musician Shaun England on Friday, March 8; and acoustic rock duo Bird Mancini on Saturday, March 9.
IF YOU GO What: @boxText_Bullet:"Love Letters" by A.R. Gurney, with John Archer and Patricia Zaido To benefit:@boxText_Bullet: Salem Theatre Company When:@boxText_Bullet: Tomorrow and Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Where: @boxText_Bullet:Salem Theatre Company, 90 Lafayette St. Tickets: @boxText_Bullet:$25, available online at www.salemtheatre.com, by phone at 978-790-8546 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org