Third night (of four) of the cold reads of New Ideas scripts. The evening began with Still Waters by Suzanne Gauthier, to be directed in Week One by Stacy Halloran. The playwright could not attend, but she had already seen a reading of this piece (although with different actors and director) at the Write Now event on October 21. Charles, a 60-something retiree who’s a compulsive Canadian Tire shopper, thinks he has the solution to his wife Monica’s “sleeping problem”. I thought this 10-minute comedy was so charming when I first heard it at Write Now (see post at https://alumnaetheatre.wordpress.com/2012/10/24/write-now-2012-running-water/), and it’s still adorable.
Next up was Say The Words by me (Tina McCulloch), to be directed in Week One by Kim Radmacher. I confess to sitting in the audience of other writers and directors, shaking with nerves a little, in anticipation of hearing it read aloud for the first time. And wondering how it would be received! It’s an 8-minute monologue – a form I’ve never written in before – about love and loss. The audience was very attentive [phew!], and quite complimentary.
Then we heard The Deepest Trench by Chloë Whitehorn, to be directed in Week Two by Justen Bennett. Described by the playwright as “an almost love story”, this flashback and flash-forward piece shows the relationships between Kate, her friend & roomie Emma, and Kate’s brother Ryan, who develops feelings for Emma. Contains a great geek reference to Zander’s invisibility in episode 4.4 of Buffy The Vampire Slayer; Emma’s malapropism “pair of ducks” (was it deliberate? She means “paradox”) that culminates in an adorable gift; and the Best Quote Ever, from Kate: “Could we please not talk about my brother’s genitalia?”.
Wrapping up the evening was the Week Three reading, Falling by Jamie Johnson, dramaturged by Diane Forrest, to be directed by Ed Rosing. This is a play that the writer confessed had been stashed in a drawer for 18 years when he pulled it out to submit to New Ideas. Currently the format is a series of monologues interrupted by brief interactions with other characters – but that could change! Constance, mocked in her small town as the “crazy widow” (she’s survived two husbands and miscarried a baby), defends her choices and tries to explain her life to the daughter she imagines she might have had. Lovely, semi-mystical stories about the moon and its power punctuate the text. Johnson noted that the reading helped to highlight some clarity issues which he will work on, along with exploration of theatrical possibilities.
Readers for night #3 were: Carol Baker, Charles Hayter, Neale Kimmel, Tina McCulloch, Lynne Patterson, Derek Perks, Laura Vincent, Mike Vitorovich, Maria Wodzinkska.
Unfortunately I won’t be able to make tonight (Thursday) – the final cold read night. The plays tonight are:
– Dead French Philosophers and What We Mean When We Talk About Love by James Papoustsis, to be directed in Week Three by Yevgeniya Falkovich. The readers (as scheduled, although there have been last-minute substitutions on all the previous nights!) are Derek Perks, David Christo, Elisabeth Feltaous and Carys Lewis.
– My Friend’s Best Friend’s Boyfriend by Wesley J. Colford, to be directed in Week Three by Joanne Williams. Readers: Carys Lewis, Alex Dault, David Christo, Jake Michaels, Elisabeth Feltaous, and Derek Perks.
– Over the Edge by Catherine Frid, to be directed in Week Two by Pomme Corvellec. Readers: Elisabeth Feltaous, Alex Dault.
– Everything but the Cat by Adrianna Prosser is the Saturday reading in Week One, to be directed by Steph Ouaknine. Readers: Carys Lewis and Elisabeth Feltaous.
And that’s it for the cold reads – all the scripts that will appear in the Festival have been read! Next for New Ideas: the auditions in early January.
By the way, yesterday’s post about the second night of cold reads has been updated to add the names of the readers.