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I dig jazz and single-malt scotch.  I write plays; I direct them too. I love STAR WARS more than is healthy. I walk my dogs every day, unless it's raining or terribly cold.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

3 Basic Workshop Types

Staged Reading of IN SEARCH OF A BETTER LIFE WITH ELVIS
at Wake Forest University by Virtual Theater Project.
There are endless variations on types of workshops. The thing that unifies them is that they all posses the potential for radical insight and enlightenment about your work, or devastating painful disaster. Those are extremes, but either can happen during something as simple as a seated public reading of your work. 

There are three general categories of workshop levels:

Concert Reading: a reading of the play from a stationary point. Sometimes actors are seated throughout, sometimes they stand when their characters have “entered” a scene. Usually there is a formal aspect to the actor’s placement, indicated by a stand to hold the text of the play. Stage directions denoting major actions, descriptions that are not apparent or actable by stationary performers, and scene changes are read aloud.

Staged Reading: a script-in-hand staging of the play. Minimal props, lighting, sound effects, and suggestions of costumes are present. The dialogue is read, but most of the stage directions are omitted unless some action is impossible to perform in the context of the staged reading (an elaborate dance sequence, a large set requirement, or some other aspect unable to be evoked through a minimal staging).

Concert reading of ARIADNE ON THE ISLAND
Workshop Production: an off-book staging of the play. Minimal props, lighting, sound effects, and costumes are present in bare-bones but complete performance of the work.

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