Had a table reading of my newest full length play last night. I belong to PDX Playwrights group which meets twice a month to read new plays by its members. The reads are cold, and parts are handed out on the spot to whomever is available at the time. After the reading, feedback is given to the playwright in the following way: 1) popcorn response (one or two words), 2) what worked in the play, 3) the playwright gets to ask for specific feedback.
Here's the synopsis: An astronomer overcomes agoraphobia and travels to Korea with her adoptive mother, bi-racial daughter, and lesbian lover to find her biological parents. Her daughter disappears, her mother dies, she suffers relapse. Only her true ancestors – the stars – can save her now.
Usually after a table read, I just come away ready for work. This time, the positive feedback overwhelmingly outweighed the things that need fixing, however. I came away feeling terrific. There are definitely a few places that I need to tweak, a couple of problems to solve. The playwrights in the group are so helpful and generous that I'm really glad I joined this group last September.
Do you have a good writers' group? Do you have rules for giving and receiving criticism of your work in that group? How does that work for you?
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