We had a great time on Monday April 2nd with our second Potluck Playread, taking a look at the first draft of Shannon Blake’s new play, Devotion. With a full house of 12 participants, our four intrepid readers (thank you Alex, Emily, Jenna and Ryan!) helped us through a play full of hilarity, betrayal, love, and the occasional reference to super-human doctors.
As we tinker with the method of the playread, we decided to have the participants listen to the play, rather than read along with our readers. This came from a belief that plays are meant to be seen/heard, not read (take that, high school English class!), but at the same time, I was a little bit nervous. We only really had the “heard” portion of the play available, the equivalent of a table read, without the “seen” aspect at all. Questions abounded for me: would the listeners be able to understand the story? Would little moments get lost in the busyness of trying to keep up with the first time a play was being read, without the necessary visual cues to follow along?
As soon as the first line was read, my mind was put at ease – people were engaged, laughing, and following along quite well. The discussion after the playread provided even more proof. While I had a script in front of me, and felt like I picked up on a lot of things that others didn’t, I was definitely wrong. Participants were making connections that I couldn’t see, and so much life and truth was being found between the words. My faith in the power of the performing arts is fully and utterly restored. 🙂 Most of all, I was grateful for the thought and effort put into providing feedback for Shannon as she molds these characters and their stories into a piece of art.
Thanks again to our participants (Elliot, Jeff, Alyssa, Jonathan, Shannon, Hinna, Lindsay, Ryan, Jenna, Emily and Alex!) for attending and bringing delicious Greek food. Thanks to the Fringe Creation Lab for hosting us again, and to Shannon for bringing such a fantastic work to the table. We’re already looking forward to seeing the next draft!