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:
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.