Okay, the play reached final draft point. The End was written. Table read date was set before I even started writing the dialogue. (Yes, I'm fearless that way.) On Monday I began the process of printing the play, getting copies made, collated, covered, and so on. One always has to allow for running out of ink (check), not being able to replace said ink (check), finishing the job on a different computer in a different location (check), and so on. I bought water for each reader including stage directions reader, arrived early to get set up, got out my notebook and sat back and listened.
I was thrilled to find that my director for the already scheduled staged reading (January 20 and 21st, 2012, 11pm) was there, he read one of the roles in fact, as well as my writing partner who read another. I knew they would provide great feedback. The reading was delivered well, especially for a cold reading. My thoughts were: I need to show more of Tee's motivation; more of Tee's inner process needs to be outer; and whoa! this climax is TOO BIG for this little team. So, after the "popcorn" responses, and the positive feedback from the audience, it was time for my question to them: did the climax see believable to you? Their responses rained down: in a word: no. Not only did it feel too big, but most people don't believe a nurse would be so unfeeling as to start a fire, even in an empty building if there was a possibility of danger to human life. She would be too compassionate. Okay, I hear you.
I have some work to do. I just want everyone to know I also heard the positive responses re the dialogue, the complex characters, the humor. It's a good play, and now I'm going to make it better. That's why we have a table read. And especially why we have it in front of people who know how to make plays better.
The predator and the prude - Usually I think Terry Gross of NPR's Fresh Air as one of the smartest interviewers around. But today I've got a quibble to raise. In a recent interview wit...
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