Kelly Bates, former NBC10 meteorologist, co-starred in ‘Love Letters’

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Kelly Bates is used to being in front of an audience, but taking the stage for a live performance – one that doesn’t require her to show a colorful weather map behind her – leaves her a little nervous.

“I thought it would be fun to have an artistic outlet,” the Coventry resident said of her role as one of the three couples wearing the poignant “Love Letters” on stage as the Community Players kick off their 100th anniversary season. It will take place November 19-21 at the Jenks Auditorium in Pawtucket.

Until September, Bates had spent her time in front of the cameras as a meteorologist at NBC10, where she worked for 17 years. She announced her departure amid a contractual dispute. Since then, she has taken online classes, applied for several emergency management jobs and let her friend Frank O’Donnell enlist her for “Love Letters.”

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“He asked me if I would be willing to do it, and I said yes. Then he called to say we were in it, ”Bates said of the local comedian and actor, whom she met when she played the role of herself in her annual Christmas comedy ‘Ant’. ny Claus ”several years ago.

“Love Letters,” by AR Gurney, offers a glimpse of two longtime friends as they read letters exchanged over the years. The austere ensemble – the actors sit at desks throughout the show – prompts the audience to focus on the words, which Bates calls “meaningful.”

“It’s a different kind of game,” she says. “There’s a lot of dubbing, which is difficult when you like to use your hands to talk. “

And, while Bates performed a few plays at Lyndon State College, now Northern Vermont University, she was glad she didn’t have to memorize lines this time around, as the actors read letters on the desk in front of them. She has watched a few college productions of “Love Letters” on YouTube, but finds The Community Players’ production unique.

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“Ours leans more on the humor of the play – there are parts that are really funny! We don’t let a joke go,” Bates says. “It was a great experience. When you do a project with a friend, it’s a lot easier. I’m not afraid to ruin the rehearsals.

Beyond the show, she is focused on caring for her father, who has been at home in hospice care since July.

“I have no prospect of a job even though I continue to apply. I think things happen for a reason. I can spend this time with my dad and help with this process, ”Bates says. “Life is a period of adaptation for me. Eventually, I’ll find my niche, but this show has helped me get out of my head and into someone else’s.

If you are going to

What: “Love letters”

Or: Community Players, Jenks Auditorium, 350 Division St., Pawtucket.

When: November 19-20, 7:30 p.m .; November 21, 2 p.m.

Tickets: $ 18 for adults, $ 12 for students and children.

COVID Security: Proof of full vaccination is required and masks must be worn.

Information:thecommunityplayers.net

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