Åarhus Gallery will present “as if stories,” a live performance series of readings by Maine actors of short stories by Maine writers. The inaugural performance will take place Saturday, March 20, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the downtown gallery, 50 Main St. It will feature two stories about love and personal firsts: “The Blender” by Martha Fenton, read by Beverly Mann; and “Ernie’s Ark” by Monica Wood, read by Larason Guthrie.

Fenton is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in a variety of publications and has been anthologized in the Himalayan Institute’s “Spirit On The Move” and Triple Tree Publishing’s MOTA series. She lives in Portland, and is a contributor to the e-zine ducts.org. Mann is an independent artist who tours with several theater companies including Faustwork Mask Theatre, based in Toronto; and Figures of Speech Theatre, based in Freeport. She teaches workshops in mask-making and mask theater techniques, both locally and away. Mann was last seen as Alice B. Toklas in, “Gertrude Stein and a Companion” at The Playhouse Theatre in Belfast.

Wood is the author of the novels “Secret Language,” “My Only Story” and “Any Bitter Thing,” as well as a collection of related short stories set in the fictional mill town of Abbott Falls, Maine, from which “Ernie’s Ark” is excerpted. Guthrie is a long time actor and director in Maine and one of the founders of the Belfast Maskers. He is pleased to step out of theatrical retirement to read Wood’s story.

The mission of “as if stories” is to showcase the work of Maine fiction writers – the known, the lesser known and the great unknown – by presenting their stories as if they were true, via live readings by Maine actors in front of adult audiences. If one has never been read to before, here is an opportunity for a personal first.

Suggested donation at the door is $7, which includes refreshments. For more information, visit aarhusgallery.com; for submission guidelines, click on Submissions. Åarhus Gallery’s winter hours are Thursdays through Sundays noon to p.m. or by appointment; call 338-0001.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.