A few years ago – for New Ideas 2011 – the Festival’s Artistic Directors came up with a plan to give playwrights and directors the opportunity to hear the plays read by actors before the auditions. It’s especially useful for the writers, who may never have heard the words aloud before. The cold reads are now a NIF tradition. And it’s the true definition of cold read: actors arrive, and are handed a script to read! After each reading, the writers or directors may ask questions about what worked and what didn’t for the audience.
NIF 2014 co-producer Jennifer McKinley handled the scheduling job, juggling everyone’s various schedules. I could not attend on the first night, but the plays read were:
Be Careful, There’s a Baby in the House (by Nicholas Sgouros (to be directed by Sean Speake). Readers: Tara Gostling, Andrea Brown (on a rehearsal break from The Lady’s Not For Burning), and David Suszek.
The Living Library by Linda McCready (to be directed by Stacy Halloran). Reader: Andrea Patreau.
The Shimmering Odessa Building or Whatever by Judith Upjohn (to be directed by Zoe Erwin-Longstaff). Readers: Jacqueline Costa (who played a delightful grumpy old man in Alumnae’s September production The Underpants), Melissa Chetty, and Fiona Green.
Pit Sublime by Alexandra Watts-Simpson (to be directed by Pamela Redfern). Readers: Shana Perriera and Donovan Jackson.
On the second night – Tue Dec 3 – I missed the first play: Radical by Charles Hayter (to be directed by Darcy Stoop). Readers: Patricia Hawk, Sandra Banman, Aldin Bundoc, Brigitte Talevski.
Next up was In a Time of War by Anne MacMillan (to be directed by Jim Ivers). The story of a working-class Glasgow family touched by their experiences in World War II. Readers: Morna Wales, Frank Robinow, Scott Dermody, Melyssa Ade, Jacklyn Francis, Pat Hawk. An earlier version appeared at Big Ideas back in May. Currently runs approx. 35-40 minutes, but the playwright is still cutting!
Simprov is by a New York writer Laurence Klavan (to be directed by Stephanie Williams). Approx 15 mins. A slightly futuristic, absurdist and funny piece. Imagine if you could pay to have reality TV played out in front of you by live actors! Readers: Tina McCulloch, Nicholas Porteous, Joslyn Rogers, Michael Gordin Shore (also from The Underpants).
I’m Still Here by Ramona Baillie (to be directed by Dahlia Katz). In this cute piece (running approx 10 mins), a long-ago movie star uses every trick in the book to convince a young reporter that she’s still relevant to today’s audience. Readers: Brenda Somers, Melissa Chetty, Sandra Banman.
Night 3 – Wed Dec 4 – features Elsa and Marigold by Marissa Spada (to be directed by Janet Kish). Readers: Seema Lakhani, Tara Gostling, Liza Paul.
Airport Tales by Carol Libman (to be directed by Carys Lewis). Readers: Razie Brownstone and Justen Bennett.
Would You Do It Again? by Rebecca Grace (to be directed by Caitlin English). Readers: Rae Kolbin, David Suszek, Billy Fillippakis.
Brockfest by Joan Burrows (to be directed by Eric Benson). Readers: Justen Bennett, Michael Gordin Shore, Natalie Kulesza, Billy Fillippakis. The opening scene of this play was presented at the works-in-progress series Big Ideas back in May – can’t wait to see where it’s gone since then!
Tonight – Thu Dec 5 – the readings are:
Royal Seasons by Norma Crawford (to be directed by Nina Bea Kaye). It’s about Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, I am told. Readers: Sandra Burley, Ryan Genereaux.
Better Angels by Andrea Scott (to be directed by Pomme Corvellec). Readers: Kathleen Pollard, Ryan Genereaux.
Rotating Thunderstorm by Taylor Marie Graham (to be directed by Jillian Harper). Readers: Shana Perreira, Nina Kaye, Robert Bellisimo, Krystyna Hunt.
And that’s all 15 plays! Actors, book your auditions now (see previous post https://alumnaetheatre.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/audition-notice-for-new-ideas-festival-2014/ for instructions). Audiences, come see New Ideas in March!