Alumnae’s New Play Development (NPD) group held its spring reading event on Sunday, Little Ideas, a reboot of the previous Big Ideas readings – going from short scenes/play excerpts to monologues. Here’s a recap of the program:
Retirement – by Marianne Fedunkiuw, dir. by Anne Harper, with actor Patricia Dawson
Don’t I Know You? – by Ramona Baillie, dir. by Dorothy Kelleher, with actor Michelle Harris
I’m Sorry, Steph – by Joan Burrows, dir. by Barbara Larose, with actor Patricia Hawk
The Golden Bell – by Norma Crawford, dir. by Jane Carnwath, with actor Neale Kimmel
Hi, It’s Sam! – by Marianne Fedunkiuw, dir. by Pat McCarthy, with actor Derek Perks
The Absence of Music – by Carol Libman, dir. by Dinah Watts, with actor Lynn Zeelenberg
You Gotta Do This… – by Ramona Baillie, dir. by Molly Thom, with actor Robert Legare
Sexiled – by Carolyn Zapf, dir. by PJ Hammond, with actor Navneet Rai
Do You Really Want to Know? – by Carol Libman, dir. by Nonnie Griffin, with actor Tina McCulloch
Samira – by Catherine Frid, dir. by Joan Burrows, with actor Ashley Singh
Bathroom Scales – by Annie MacMillan, dir. by Laurie Williams, with actor Morna Wales
The program went like this: the actors received their scripts onstage, at the beginning of the presentation, and had two minutes to look them over before reading them cold. Following each reading, the writer had an opportunity to make a statement about the piece; the actor and director were each allowed two questions (that were not to be answered at that time). Barbara Larose acted as secretary for the event, recording running times, statements and questions.
The playwright/director/actor groups then had half an hour to work on the piece, during which time the audience was invited to respectfully listen in to the work in progress. Many of us enjoyed the break and sampled goodies from the snack table at this time.
The actors returned to read the pieces again, with some interesting results. Second reads were clearly different, sometimes due to script editing, direction and/or actor honing intention, based on the questions posed and any other thoughts that came up. In some, cases, the pieces were significantly shorter – which was good, as they were going for audition-worthy monologues, which need to be about two minutes in length.
All in all, a fun and interesting experiment for the NPD.
Don’t forget: InspiraTO (Alumnae main stage) and There Goes the Bride (Scarborough) both open this Thursday! Get out and support local theatre and actors!
Speaking of InspiraTO, those folks were busy doing tech on the main stage on Sunday, and I bumped into Alum gal Carol McLennan, who is acting in the InspiraTO RedSound play Hush. Check out this piece from last Thursday’s Toronto Star, co-written by Carol and Carol’s daughter Kate Allen: http://www.thestar.com/living/article/996423–one-mom-s-gutsy-career-change-and-what-her-daughter-thinks#article