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Thread: Two plays tonight! I come to you SLEEPLESS in Toronto...

  1. #1
    Stand in the Place Where You Live KTC's Avatar
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    Two plays tonight! I come to you SLEEPLESS in Toronto...

    So, I thought I would sleep last night...but nope. Not a wink. Well, maybe I nodded once or twice. But only to be jarred back awake by the anxiety train that was driving through me. Tonight two of my plays are getting a stage reading. TWO. At the time I was invited to do this, it sounded like such a great honor, such a great idea. Today, I can hardly breathe thinking about it. Two one-act plays. Both to be dissected by the audience. With an intermission in-between...for the anxiety to build. What was I thinking! I found myself, at two o'clock this morning, reading these plays...trying to be objective, trying to find something good in them. The mind is a terrible thing to use. At 7pm Toronto time, the torture will commence. Yes, I'm terribly excited. My family will be there...my once fraction and broken family. My partner will be there. Friends will be there. I don't know how ticket sales went, but I've seen it advertised all over the place. I don't know how well stage-readings even sell. I've never been to one. It's not a full production, so I'm unsure if people care to see them or not. I've always been interested in them, myself, but that may be because I'm a playwright. Who knows. Anyway, here I am...ready for the firing squad. Hopeful...but tired.

    Anyone have any insights into what I should expect? Feedback wise? I'm not sure how much they delve into these things? I should be prepared to take copious notes, I suppose. ACK. I'm a wreck. 7-9. It's only two hours of my life... THEATRE 3x60 - The History of Us & King of the Crease
    Last edited by KTC; 08-01-2017 at 05:05 PM.
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  2. #2
    Mostly harmless SuperModerator dpaterso's Avatar
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    Cool beans x 2, KTC, I hope everything goes terrifically well for you tonight and everyone has a blast.

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  3. #3
    Moderator AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    I've done this, but never with two. But having seen your writing, I think you have less to worry about than you are worrying about.

    Relax; most if not all people will be kinder than your typical AW line-by-line critique, by a long shot. Many will praise the whole, or some particular aspect they liked, then offer two or three minor quibbles about a particular line or plot point. (One will be a doofus who just doesn't get it, even though everybody else did. When it happens, look at the audience members--they will literally roll their eyes.) At worst, you might get a person who doesn't care for the entire concept (mine was, "Why would you, a woman, write a play about violence against women?"), and that's okay, because like books, not every play is for every audience member.

    Catch a nap later if you can. Have a nice dinner before the reading, and enjoy a glass of wine with the meal. You'll be fine.

    Maryn, with a long hug
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  4. #4
    Stand in the Place Where You Live KTC's Avatar
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    Thanks, Derek! And thank you, Maryn! Yes to the nap...hopefully. So jittery, I'm trying to find the cord to the electricity source that somebody plugged into me when I wasn't looking. We are going to one of my favourite vegan eating places on the way...and having a quiet meal, just the two of us. I pity him and my last minute Ranty McRanterson antics. Yikes. Thanks for the insights and for making it a wee bit less scary. PS: I can't believe somebody said that to you!!!!!!!!!!! Good Golly!!

    Thanks!
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  5. #5
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    So many congratulations!

    I've participated in a lot of these staged readings as an actor. I always love the chance to get my hands on a character before anyone else's fingerprints are on them. And while some actors can be self-involved pains-in-the-asses, many of them have good insight into why a character is or isn't working. Take the opportunity to get some feedback from them.

    As far as the audience talkback portion of the evening goes, bear in mind that there are always a few people who participate simply to show off how intelligent and discerning they are, or to have the opportunity to lecture the playwright, director and cast. Even if they like your work, their comments can be hard to swallow sometimes. My advice is to give them the ol' AW crit treatment: smile, say thank you, and move on.
    Last edited by mrsmig; 08-01-2017 at 07:05 PM.
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  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW
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    Congratulations for getting this far. I'd suggest recording the talkback afterwards rather than taking notes. If you make a video recording of the reading, just leave the camera running. You might miss something important while you are writing.

    A few suggestions from someone who has been there: Listen to the audience during the reading: Is everyone holding their breath? Are they laughing at the right places? Wrong places? Are they quiet? Fidgeting?

    Above all: Just enjoy the evening.

    Doug B

    PS: Let us know how it goes!

  7. #7
    Stand in the Place Where You Live KTC's Avatar
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    Thank you both so much. You're filling in all the gaps that my imagination had to work with. It's starting to take shape for me, what to expect. THANK YOU!

    I've been lucky to see 10 short 10-minute plays produced...but I've never had anything done with a one-act before. I feel like I'm crossing a threshold. And I also feel as though I'm lucky to go about it this way, through staged readings. Because I still have a lot to learn prior to a full production of a longer running play. Thanks for the invaluable feedback. (-:
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  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW
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    Relax. What can they do, beat you up? In the Bad Olde Days they did just that. Friends and enemies of the playwright would try to pack the audience and fisticuffs ensued. But I'll bet you know that. Nothing like the roar of greasepaint....

  9. #9
    Stand in the Place Where You Live KTC's Avatar
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    Thanks again, all. It went amazingly well! The actors were really phenomenal and I received nothing but compliments...from the audience, the theatre company owner, and the actors. Both plays were extremely well received.

    I had an internal meltdown over an aspect of one of the plays, but that says more about me than about anything else. I got over it and relaxed into the performances. The company is looking forward to working with me in the future. I'm excited to see where the relationship is going!

    Thanks for calming the waters, pre-flight. (-:
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  10. #10
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    Congratulations. I'm glad it went well. Onward and upward!!!

    Doug B

  11. #11
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    KTC, that's excellent news. So glad it was a success. On to the next step - a full production!
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  12. #12
    Moderator AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    Oh, good, I can stop holding my breath, inhale another, and say, "See? Told you so!"

    Maryn, so pleased on your behalf
    Pretending I'm a reasonable and pleasant person is utterly exhausting.

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  13. #13
    Sit Down, and Shut Up! Lavern08's Avatar
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