HIS TOASTMASTERS HIS­TORY PAY­ING OFF BIG TIME, HARRY WAS A HIT.

Bonita & Estero Magazine - - ON THE RADAR -

he has writ­ten five plays, some of which have been pro­duced at Theatre Con­spir­acy’s play read­ing se­ries in Fort My­ers. “Brevity is a virtue,” a writ­ing coach once told him. “You have it.” That, Max­einer says, “took the lid off.” His provoca­tive play Be­lief in­volves themes of long-term com­mit­ment, fa­ther­hood, ar­dent faith and im­pend­ing death.

Be­lief was staged at Theatre Con­spir­acy in 2015, and is now in the hands of direc­tor and pro­ducer Robert Kalfin, founder of the Chelsea The­ater Cen­ter, with the prom­ise of pro­duc­tion in New York City.

TAP­PING IN AT 55

A former ele­men­tary school teacher, Brenda Kensler discovered her in­ner th­es­pian af­ter rais­ing her chil­dren. “I al­ways wanted to [per­form], but I was afraid” she says. Then, when she was 47, a neigh­bor asked her to take dance classes. Seven years later, she au­di­tioned for the mu­si­cal 42nd Street in Ann Ar­bor, Michi­gan. “I was 55, tap­ping in 42nd Street!”

Kensler went on to per­form in a num­ber of pro­duc­tions,

in­clud­ing A Funny Thing Hap­pened on the Way to the Fo­rum,

Sweet Char­ity and Hair, the first show she’d ever seen on Broad­way. She asked for a part in Hair. In­stead of a younger “Tribe” mem­ber, Kensler played the role of Mother.

In South­west Florida, she has per­formed a num­ber lead­ing roles, mostly for the Lab­o­ra­tory The­ater of Florida. “I started look­ing at plays and think­ing, ‘Oh, I would have done this dif­fer­ently.’ ” So she started di­rect­ing for the Lab: Cal­en­dar Girls,

Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune and Cabaret, some­thing she’d wanted to do for 20 years. “I’d lis­ten to the mu­sic and chore­o­graph it in my head. I did the cos­tumes, chore­og­ra­phy, di­rect­ing, cast­ing … ev­ery­thing,” she says.

Re­cently, and with 24 hours’ no­tice, she filled in as an un­der­study at the Off Broad­way Palm. “I walked through my role once and bam! I went in and I did it ,” she says. “I started late and won­der­ful things hap­pened. I try to do things that scare me. That’s what you do. It’s called liv­ing.”

Harry Lichtc­sien (seated left) is the name­sake of Harry’s Se­nior Mo­ment. Harry's fel­low per­form­ers are Mar­ilu Holmes (seated), Leigh Shein, Steve Cobb and Bill Owens. The im­prov troupe re­turns next May to the Off Broad­way Palm in Fort My­ers.

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