Categotry Archives: performance

Descriptions and information about all the performances the piece sees, and processes of making them happen.

by

Script prep for Bare Bones reading

Categories: development, mrs. hawking, performance, Tags: ,

Got to work on preparing the Mrs. Hawking script for the Bare Bones reading. The real work will be in improving the actual text, which will require serious thought. But there’s also preparing it so that it can be read in the circumstances of the Bare Bones form.

I will be able to pick six actors for this reading. That means multi-casting pretty carefully to keep the characters straight, and to keep anyone from having to talk to themselves in a given scene. The biggest challenge is in the stage directions. Because it’s such an action-oriented play, a lot of the stage directions have to be read in order for the story to come across. But frankly six actors is the absolute minimum required to just cover the characters. So as a solution to that, I’m creating a rotating “narrator” role. The stage directions that need to be read will be indicated by formatting the directions as lines under the name Narrator, but it will switch between three, so no actor is double-cast as Narrator in a scene where they are playing a character.

I’m planning on choreographing the reading similarly to how PMRP productions work if you’ve ever seen them– the actors will all sit in chairs along the back of the stage until they are in the current scene, at which point they will come up to stand at the front and read. Whoever is the narrator at the moment will act similarly, except they will have a designated narrator space to stand in at the far side of the stage’s edge. Practicing the rhythm of coming out into place and returning will be an important part of rehearsal.

I will need three men and three women. And I would love it if you came out to audition. If you would be so kind as to lend your voice to this, go to the production website here and sign up for an audition slot. I would be very grateful for your help in bringing this piece forward.

by

Auditions for Bare Bones reading

Categories: mrs. hawking, performance, Tags: ,

mrshawkingicon

The Theatre@First Bare Bones website has now been updated with information about the reading of Mrs. Hawking. If you would care to audition, and I hope some of you talented people might, go to this website and fill out the form to schedule an appointment. It will be held starting 7pm on Monday, March 4th at Unity Church at 6 William Street, Somerville, MA 02144.

The process should not be arduous, just a handful of rehearsals over the course of March, and there won’t be any need to memorize lines as the whole thing will simply be reading straight from the script. The one and only performance will be the evening of April 11th at 8pm in the same place as the audition, with a single dress rehearsal the night before.

This is, if I may say so myself, a really fun script. It has strong female characters, strong female characters, and lots of conflict, action, and excitement. Come on and lend your talent to helping me make this script the best it can possibly be!

by

Got a staged reading at Bare Bones!

No comments yet

Categories: mrs. hawking, performance, Tags:

I just got word from Theatre@First’s lovely John Deschene that my play Mrs. Hawking has been accepted as part of Bare Bones, their series of staged readings. I’m really pleased to hear it, as getting readings is important to the development of new plays, and I really care about bringing this piece along. The reading I had at my school was very instructive and helped me figure out a lot of things that need changing and fixing. Having another reading to prepare it for will really help me take it to the next level.

I only just sent in my acceptance, so there’s nothing posted about it and I haven’t gotten any specific information about it yet. But according to the website, they provide space for auditions the week of March 4th, so presumably they will let me have an open call for actors then. I get to choose six people. That’s probably one fewer person than I’d like, but I may just have to multi-cast a little more, and possibly rotate off who reads the stage directions. You can’t really do this show without the stage directions being read. And then the reading itself will be April 11th. Not a long process for a full-length play, but for a reading only a few rehearsals will be needed. Hey, the first reading was done completely cold!

I am glad to have the chance to further develop this piece, and to get my work out there a little bit more. Every little bit of positive attention could bring me a little closer to getting productions, right? And if you might be interested in helping me out, I’d love it if you came out to audition. Especially if you might be able to do an English accent.

by

Lesley staged reading accomplished!

No comments yet

Categories: mrs. hawking, performance, Tags:

This past Tuesday saw my reading of Mrs. Hawking sponsored by my grad program at Lesley. I am happy to report that it went quite well. I was a little nervous going in– not only was there no rehearsal, many of the actors had not read the play beforehand. But it turned out that they were so good that even in a completely cold read they did a fabulous job. I was mightily impressed. They even did the British accents I was hoping for. In fact, those that were double-cast even did different ones to differentiate their several characters! That was very cool. Here’s a picture mid-reading, thoughtfully snapped by my super-cool former sci fi and fantasy adviser Mark:

image

It worked similarly to a radio play, if you’ve ever seen one. The actors come up to the stands when they are present in the scene, and return to the chairs behind them when they are “offstage.” The only downside was that the actor playing Nathaniel made the choice to make him, in my opinion, excessively absurd. I don’t mind if he’s funny and even a little silly early on, but this actor decided to maintain that throughout the entirety of the piece. If you’re still not able to take him seriously by the final scene, it pretty much kills his arc. But other than that I was happy, and it turned out to be extremely instructive. It suggested a number of edits I can make, which I will work on forthwith. But I got a lot of complements from my teachers and fellow students, which felt great. And I was fortunate to have a nice crowd of my own lovely friends there to support me, who I believe also enjoyed it. Thank you so much for being there. I think I had a bigger crowd than they see at these student staged readings! So I feel pretty good about the whole thing, and I’m eager to get working on the edits. I want this piece to be the best it possibly can be.

by

Chatting with the director of the Lesley staged reading

Categories: development, mrs. hawking, performance, Tags: , , , ,

mrshawkingicon

Tonight I had a phone conversation with Brett Marks, the gentleman who is the director for my reading of Mrs. Hawking at Lesley. It was a very interesting conversation, but I had no idea what to expect going in. This is a weird process, I must say. I believe that the actors were arranged by Kate Snodgrass, an awesome professor in my program and a major figure in Boston theater. But as I doubt she read my play, the actors could not have been cast based on fitting the roles. What I suspect happened is my adviser Jami Brandli, who I liked very much, passed on the play’s requirements in the most general terms– a middle-aged woman, a young woman, two middle-aged men, et cetera. Okay, I guess I should have expected as much, but there are things I kind of hoped for in order to really hear how the play sounded. For example, I want to hear if I really emulated the Victorian voice, so ideally I’d get to hear it read in an English accent. The director implied that it might in fact be possible with this group, but I’m sure such a thing wasn’t taken into account in the casting. Also, there’s no rehearsal time. It’s just a cold read. Again, that’s fine if that’s how it works, but I do wonder what the director has to do if there’s no time to work on these things beforehand.

Of course, he may just be solely for my benefit, getting the perspective of somebody who reviews scripts for production professionally. And I was glad of what he had to say. He had a lot of good responses, and though he was trying not to criticize, he gave me his early reactions to a lot of things that pointed me in the direction of what I should possibly work further on. For example, he got me thinking that a lot of things I assume the viewer understands about how Victorian culture works– such as how it would be very odd for a wealthy society matron like Mrs. Hawking to not have a housemaid –might not necessarily be clear to somebody who wasn’t as educated on the subject as I am. He also had questions about the figure of Colonel Reginald Hawking. I want him to come across as mostly a good, decent man, but one who completely invalidated the person his wife truly was because it didn’t fit into his patriarchal schema. But the director suggested that if that doesn’t come across, Mrs. Hawking’s anger with him may not be sympathetic. I want it to seem harsh, but at the same time understandable.

Also, and this was a bit vindicating, he found act one scene two where Mrs. Hawking and Mary are getting to know one another to be excessively abrupt. I thought that myself, and in fact it was longer in the original draft, but after receiving critical feedback that it was too slow, I cut it. It pleased me to hear a professional director agree that there needed to be more of the two of them getting know one another. Also, he was familiar with the writing styles of those like Coward and Wilde that I was working to emulate. As great as the instruction I’ve been receiving has been, one perspective I haven’t had much of is whether or not I achieved that emulation. It was cool to have somebody be able to tell me I did that.

I’m excited to see how it goes. I wish I had time to incorporate some of his suggestions, but I’ve already printed all the scripts. So we’ll see what happens, if you join me this Tuesday. Remember, it’s this Tuesday January 8th from 6 to 8PM in the Marran Theater in the Student Center, Doble Campus, Lesley University at 29 Everett Street, Cambridge, MA.

1 2 7 8 9 10 11