0004: THE STAGED READING
Because this was a staged reading, no set was needed. The director, however, decided that the image of the show should be present as a visual. He also added two music stands and a box that served as a “table” to hold a few props.
During the staged reading, the audience was very responsive. I could hear them react and laugh. And as expected, the lip-synch songs felt too long and they were a challenge to perform, especially without actual costumes and props.
Before the reading, we told audience members that they could stay behind once the reading was over because we wanted to hear their opinion. After the reading, some audience members stayed and we had a lovely 30-minute conversation. In the end, the audience said the lip-synch felt a little too long and that shortening the length of the numbers would benefit the script. Our hunch was correct.
To sum up the audience’s impressions, the show made them feel as if “I was in someone’s living room,” “listening to stories that were funny, engaging, and touching.” “The script is entertaining,” “I can’t imagine how fun it would be to see the actor in full costumes” and “the sets and the lights will sure make the show even more exciting.” To all that, all I can say is that the staged reading was a success.
The next steps are to edit the lip-synch songs and add a short monologue towards the end of the play to solidify a character. Once this is done, the script will be sealed, and ready for the sabbatical committee.
In terms of the play’s future, the director and I have plans to produce the work at both Contra Costa College and at The College of Wooster. We are also planning a national tour, taking the play to San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, and Los Angeles. And we’re also thinking of submitting the work to a couple of international theatre festivals.
Lots of plans; we will see.