Well, it’s been read, and no one died. Except for the those in the play itself, but that was to be expected.
Overall, I’m very pleased with how the reading went. For the most part, it moved along fine. We discovered there may be some confusion over Winnipeg, or perhaps the word Winnipeg was heard a bit too often. It kind of became a bit silly really, as I myself have never been. To Winnipeg, that is. These things are easily fixed.
There are places where the words and the sentences, not to mention the sentence structure itself, and this is often material that’s original source stuff anyway, was a bit cumbersome and long winded, that is the words, to say out loud, and, it was, to be rather frank, difficult, plus a bit hard to replicate, even when trying.
As I just did. And not successfully.
The ambience of the written word, and the mere scent of its power, were also at times….overwritten.
Again, original sources. Yellow journalism.
Fortunately, good and smart actors can usually smooth that out, even in a cold read. When they didn’t, well, that’s when we all thought, “OK, fix this here thing.”
After reading it, we had a good discussion about what worked, what didn’t, what wasn’t clear, etc. I was surprised that no one said anything I hadn’t anticipated, which makes me feel good about how we’re going about this project. What was really fun was the debates that ensued where people talked about not just which way should the script go but how to interpret the lives of these people. It was if they had just been to a show, and were arguing its points afterwards at some bar.
The good news is that it actually seems cohesive, interesting and totally doable. It needs some cleaning up, a bit of shaping and polishing, but then it will be ready for its cast. And the cast will have to be ready for it – to help bring it more to life. And shape it some more.
The bad news is….well, I’m not quite sure there is any.
So, I guess we’re on the right road. Which apparently leads to Winnipeg.