First Read-Through

Before launching into scene work and choreography, I always like to start with a roundtable reading of the script and an open discussion about the play and the characters.  We have a huge cast, so I limit this first read-through to principals and understudies.  In addition to everyone simply hearing the script, this is a time when I can share my production concept; pose character and plot questions to be answered; and provide a fairly unfettered forum for ideas and input from the cast.  This process will, of course, continue, but I find that having us all in on the discussion at once is a good way to get the ball rolling.

So we had our initial read-through tonight and it went very well.  One key sign of success is that we laughed a lot. Certainly with comedy, but also with tragedy, I think it’s important for the team to be able to laugh during these initial discussions.  It’s a sign of creative thought and also of creative listening.  More than anything else, I think laughter is born of surprise.  And creativity is nothing if not surprising on some level.  So if we can surprise each other during these initial discussions, then we have a good shot at surprising our audience a few months from now. 

Another really great thing about tonight is that Gilbert and Sullivan surprised us more than anyone else involved.

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