Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Reading in Restaurants

Last night, I went into Philly to a reading of a new play. I know and adore the director and several of the actors, so I went down to support them and also be a part of the process of developing the play. The reading was a lot of fun, and I got to see some friends that I haven't seen in a while. The play was a light comedy about a woman who is trying to find a place in the digital world. The show was very entertaining, and the actors did a great job of bringing characters to life even though they were standing in a restaurant holding the script in their hands.

A brief Q-and-A went on after the show, and I'd like to think that I provided some good feedback on the play that was presented. In these situations, the playwright is looking for comments that are based on the script as written. It is easy and all-too-common for people to answer the questions by giving ideas for a different play, or by responding to the play they "wanted to see." These comments are never very useful, and often just a waste of time. The best comments come from the people who have heard the show for the first time, and then they comment on what they thought of it. Not what they wish it was, but what it is.

That's a confusing paragraph, and I'm sure my editor is having a field day with it. [I decided to leave it alone. It's a personal blog, after all. --Ed.] But it's a complicated line to walk as a participant in a talkback, but I feel strongly that it's an important one. As I alluded to last entry, part of the challenge of being creative is finding people whom you trust to work with. And once we find people we work well with, that's a big step in the right direction.

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