Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Staged Reading of 'The Wall'

Staged reading: when a writer/director/producer has actors come in to read a script so he/she can hear it aloud.  They vary in terms of how much prep/rehearsal goes in, how many people see the "performance," etc., but they are always good practice for an actor!

Recently a writer friend of mine, Boni (a gentleman who was in one of Gina's writing programs), asked if I would participate in a staged reading of 'The Wall' -- a new play he's been working on so that he and some folks he would invite could hear it aloud.  Of course, I said yes!  On the day of the reading, the cast of 5-6 actors met for a brief rehearsal starting at 4:30 (reading started at 7:30), and what was most unique about this experience is that the rehearsal was actually a cold read.  Many times, you will get the script in advance so you can familiarize yourself with the role(s) you are playing and do some prep work, but Boni was working on the script right up until rehearsal so none of us had seen it yet, nor did we know what roles we would be playing.  That made for an interesting, but also exciting, first read-through as everyone more or less discovered their roles on the fly.

I got to play several different characters, and making them each specific and truthful was a bit of a challenge for me without having any time prior, but it was a good challenge!  And I felt like I managed to do a decent job given the circumstances.  Boni invited about a dozen of so folks to watch the reading and from their reactions seemed to enjoy the play.  I imagine now that he has heard it, Boni has a few things he wants to change, adjust, add, as he continues the writing of the script, so hopefully the reading was helpful to him.  I met some really talented actors who I hope to stay in touch with, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of the another creative process.

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