A new play script is first tested with actors. It is usually a sit-down reading where the actors read the script for the first time aloud for the playwright. This can be a wonderful experience for the playwright, or a terrible experience. The important thing here is to learn from the actors, then work on the script.
I will look at December 2, 2021, as a momentous day for my new script THE MUSSEL SLOUGH CHRONICLES – A CALIFORINA TRAGEDY. For other than typos and confusing our with are the script read well. I even read a character. I am more at an advantage for I know my character well and how the words should be said. Still, hearing people read your script who have not had time to absorb a character is valuable.
Based on a historical event in Hanford, the actors were not familiar with the event. It was wonderful to hear them say they learned something. Also satisfying are actors saying they want to do the play.
Every playwright is eager to have their play done in front of an audience. Sometimes that is the only place where a play can mature. Watching an audience react to the play is also good for the progression of the play. It is helpful to see what works, and what does not work.
However, it can not be missed that the play needs to be worked with actors first. What they say about the character is important. Also important is how the words flow from the actors mouth. Do the lines need to be shorter and concise so the actor can be the character? Lots of other questions will be addressed.
The playwright writes the words, but the actors speaks them. The director shapes the emotion behind the words to make them shine when the actor says them. This collaboration is great fun. I would love to see more people experience this.
When a table-read of a new script is successful, actors, director, and playwright smile wide. That moment from the sit-down reading is this in my mind.