At this stage in the process, the directors have been matched up with writers and plays. They probably have a couple of chats about the direction they want to go in with the script, possibly revisions are discussed, and casting. Group auditions for all the New Ideas plays are held in early January, so there’s a bit of time. Sometimes the writers have never heard their scripts read out loud; the directors certainly have not. So last year at this time, the New Ideas producers held a couple nights of cold readings of the scripts, intended to give the playwrights and directors an idea of what the work sounded like when read by actors, even before auditions. It was so successful they decided to do it again for NIF 2012.
Last week, on night #1, about 20 people (actors, directors, playwrights, stage managers, etc.) gathered to hear four of the scripts read.
The End Of An Organism (written by Jordan Mechano, to be directed by Joanne Williams) ran approx. 12 minutes. In the Costa Rican rainforest, husband & wife biologists reluctantly pack to leave after their funding is pulled. The husband is especially concerned about the disappearance of a rare frog.
Lover’s Flight (written by Joel Fishbane, to be directed by Jonathan Heppner) ran approx. 27 minutes. A middle-aged couple’s fantasy partners come to life and go off on their own. A laugh-out-loud comedy with a cute twist.
Let My Mind Run Dry (written by Cassidy Sadler, to be directed by Mairin Smit) ran approx. 15 minutes. A Texas couple struggles with drought, poverty, and their strange 15-year old son Eddie, who’s never actually seen onstage.
Orpha and Beatrice, Act I (written by Claire Frances Muir, to be directed by Taylor Marie Graham) ran approx 30 minutes. The writer cautioned that “we haven’t figured out where it’s set yet”, and the director noted that actors will play multiple roles, and “puppets are involved”! The year is 1814, but the script’s formal language and plot – two brothers, courting a noble girl and a maid – gave it a fairy-tale feel (and scenes headed “Scene The Next” didn’t hurt!) plus I detected some nods to Pride and Prejudice.
Readers tonight included Rae Kolbin, Mairin Smit, Claire Frances Muir, Brett Haynes, Richard Reinhert, Brenda Somers, Scott McCulloch, Jordan Mechano, David J. Phillips.
Next posting will be for night #2 of the cold readings.