Last night I took part in the private reading with some fellow actors and a playwright, as I mentioned I would in a previous entry.While the details still must remain confidential, I will say that I enjoyed the experience, for all of the reasons I predicted I would.
The playwright said that the reading was very helpful to him, and that is gratifying to me. I didn't have much to say in person, even when I was asked, because I wanted a chance to let things sink in a bit. I promised the playwright I would email additional comments, which I plan to do today.
Even though I have met the playwright several times over the last two years, I was still slightly nervous during the read. Not petrified by any means, but as a writer myself, (though not of plays just yet) I know how important the process of reviewing drafts can be. So I wanted to be sure to deliver each line exactly as presented, so that the playwright could truly hear how it sounded. Don't get me wrong, I always try to deliver a line as written of course, but it is one thing to flip a line or have to paraphrase in the heat of a moment on stage if the play is by, say Ibsen, as opposed to the guy sitting four feet from you.
The good news is the playwright was pleased with the reading, and was satisfied that each of the actors had honed in on the characters in the way he had hoped we would. Meaning that they are written in such a way as to convey that to an actor without having the entire background story.
Later in the summer this same script, in tighter form, is to be given a public reading at another theatre. When that happens, though I will be unable to attend it, I hope that some small improvement to the script was possible because of the reading and the comments I have offered as an outsider to the work.
I'd be happy to take part in a reading like this again for any playwright that would have me.