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Play Reading as an Event

Printed From: Community Theater Green Room
Category: Producing Theater
Forum Name: Other Topics
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URL: http://www.communitytheater.org/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=5509
Printed Date: 6/18/24 at 7:00pm
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Topic: Play Reading as an Event
Posted By: GoldCanyonLady
Subject: Play Reading as an Event
Date Posted: 10/14/13 at 1:49pm
Has anyone ever put on a play reading evening as an event and how did it go. I am particularly interested in how you handled the action part of the play that was read. Did someone narrate?

Thanks in advance.



-------------
Barb Hofmeister,
MountainBrook Village Players, Gold Canyon, Arizona.



Replies:
Posted By: edh915
Date Posted: 10/14/13 at 10:59pm
We do two or three a year, and they do very, very well.

We narrate action only when it's absolutely necessary to the understanding of the story - and when we do, one person is assigned the role of Narrator, which helps the audience in keeping things straight.

We actually once did Hamlet, and the final duel was very effectively mimed while the actors held their scripts.

We usually sit the actors in a semi-circle facing the audience, and they come forward (most often downstage center) to speak.

Remember, the audience will always meet you half way - as long as they understand the ground rules.


Posted By: GoldCanyonLady
Date Posted: 10/15/13 at 11:48am
Thank you so very much. We hope to do several and after the first one encourage others to come forward to "read" for the next reading. We hope the acting bug will hit them. Do you charge for the event? We don't want to put any barriers up that would limit people from coming. Maybe they could bring food for the food bank as their admission.




-------------
Barb Hofmeister,
MountainBrook Village Players, Gold Canyon, Arizona.


Posted By: Majicwrench
Date Posted: 10/15/13 at 5:08pm
OOOOOHH I LIKE this idea.  So tell me how you have this arranged?? just invite public to partake of script reading?? Pick certain people?? Details please.
               Keith


Posted By: edh915
Date Posted: 10/15/13 at 6:36pm
We don't charge for the events. It's usually a way for us to work on plays that intrigue us, but that we don't think will do well at the box office. Or, as in the case of Hamlet, we were testing the playability of an edited adaptation for possible future production.

If you're going to recruit non-actors, I'd suggest keeping them in the minor roles until they get some expertise.

I love the food bank suggestion! Will try to incorporate that into our events.

Majicwrench: The way we put these together is usually as follows:

A director comes to the board and says, for example, "I've always wanted to direct The Seagull by Chekhov. Can we do it as a public reading?" The board approves it, the date is set, and the director sets about to assemble his cast. We don't normally hold auditions.

The date is announced on the theatre's website, we send an email to our mailing list of regular patrons, and we also send a press release to the local paper(s).

The cast gets together two or three times to rehearse - mostly to smooth out characterizations - then it's presented pretty much reader's theater style to a usually enthusiastic audience for a single performance.

Average attendance: 50 to 100 (the equivalent of one decent night's attendance for a multiple performance show).


Posted By: GoldCanyonLady
Date Posted: 10/16/13 at 10:08am
Keith, we will cast the first reading then at the reading, we will announce the next play (or plays in case we pick one act plays) reading and ask those interested in reading to sign up to read. We will, of course, get their name and phone number and the director will call them to go over the play before it is presented. We have never done this before so we are working it out.

By the way, we live in a 55 plus community and only do one play a year because of all the other scheduled activities and events here. We seem to have the same actors trying out all the time.

 


-------------
Barb Hofmeister,
MountainBrook Village Players, Gold Canyon, Arizona.


Posted By: GoldCanyonLady
Date Posted: 10/16/13 at 10:09am
edh (what is your name and where are you?)

Thanks again. I plan to follow your lead and will let you know how it turns out.


-------------
Barb Hofmeister,
MountainBrook Village Players, Gold Canyon, Arizona.


Posted By: Majicwrench
Date Posted: 10/16/13 at 12:17pm
 Well, this is on my list of things to do. I can see using mostly experienced actors, and inviting some celebs (mayor, police chief, HS principal etc ) to read some parts. Just make it all fun.
  
 Goldcanyonlady, one show a year?? I would go crazy. It never stops here, I finish one, take a week or so off and start the next.
    Thanks for the great idea!!
                  Keith


Posted By: GoldCanyonLady
Date Posted: 10/16/13 at 6:53pm
We are all seniors and very active in other things like band,  tennis, card playing, pickle ball, exercise, wine tasting, supper club and chorus. Everyone who uses the stage has to share and when we use it to do a play, we tie up a lot of other things for about 6-8 weeks but not all that time. We rehearse around so many others who use the room. When we put the set up, no  one else can use the stage for about 10 days. It is like kindergarten; we have to share. At least we get to do one full-length play a year.


-------------
Barb Hofmeister,
MountainBrook Village Players, Gold Canyon, Arizona.



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