- See more at: http://www.bloggerhow.com/2012/07/implement-open-graph-in-blogger-blogs.html#sthash.xZkXNjhB.dpuf W. Simmons & Associates: Inaugural Event: WordPlay Tuesdays

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Inaugural Event: WordPlay Tuesdays

Kevin Six gives his thoughts on a valuable new program for San Diego playwrights, actors and theatre lovers.

I was honored to be chosen as one of three playwrights to present work at the first WordPlay Tuesday, a collaboration between Diversionary Theatre and the Playwrights Project. Being chosen makes me feel good. The event, which should grow into something that every San Diegan who loves theatre will attend, is a place for playwrights to present work early on in its development.

So I brought something I'm working on that isn't near finished and got to see what it sounds like with actors and an audience who knew nothing about it. This is a situation as unique as a unicorn because in the world of theatre, the actors are well rehearsed and the audience has a pretty good idea of what to expect due to all the Facebook events, e-mails, preview articles and marketing material. Let's face it,very few people willingly go out to an evening of complete surprises.

The idea behind WordPlay Tuesdays -- at least for me -- is to see just how actor-proof your play is. I cannot tell you how many playwrights blame actors for their plays, that it works when the actors are rehearsed, that blah blah blah. The fact is that if someone can't pick up a script and make sense out of it in a few short minutes it will never get produced.

This is because play readers don't rehearse. The people who read your play are literary assistants, volunteers, writers themselves -- theatre people. And it is they who you have to impress; and you'll note that I didn't mention actors in this bunch.

Actor-proofing is something every good playwright should do because literary people are not good actors. If they were, they would be out acting instead of reading your play. The point being that if it's good, anyone -- regardless of training -- can make sense out of it. So I have a little work to do because some of the readers (playwrights, administrators and trained actors among them) had trouble making sense out of my ten minutes.

I didn't blame them. I also didn't rehearse them; I wanted to see how it read cold. And, thanks to the Playwrights Project and Diversionary Theatre, I got a a pretty good real-life sampling of the kinds of people looking at my play for the first time.

As this program gains in popularity, more professional actors will be enlisted -- either by playwrights who want ringers or because it's just good, free, training for actors. But I was thoroughly satisfied.

Thanks to all who made this happen, especially Cecilia, Derek, Olivia and Heather!

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