Last night was a group table read for the plays in Program 2 of the Bay One Acts Festival. Not only was it great fun to hear the other plays and to meet some playwrights I’ve corresponded with but never actually met — but it was also a valuable rehearsal tool.
Oftentimes as a playwright, the only time you hear your play out loud is at a writer’s group or a staged reading, where it’s read by other playwrights or by actors who don’t end up being in the produced piece. In this case, the actors who will actually be performing got a chance to see how the audience reacts and to feel where the laughs are. I talked to them afterwards and they found it extremely useful. And I, of course, now have a better idea of what little tweaks I need to make.
But the most important part was the casual hanging out, talking, drinking — PianoFight is involved, so there was of course some bourbon on hand — and building a bit of a community amongst the playwrights, directors, actors, designers and producers.
Not sure why I said “amongst;” I guess the rain is making me feel British.