I recently had a reading of my fairy tale play that I mentioned here a while back. Now when a playwright talks about having a reading that's more than folks just getting together and reading the play. Unlike most writing, a play is something that will (hopefully) be spoken by a group of people in front of another group of people. The play is something that is performed. So you have to get people to portray the characters and hopefully do it in front of an audience.
So I mentioned on Facebook that I wanted to do a reading of it and quickly had a group of people volunteer to read it for me. They came from Tehachapi Community Theatre's (TCT) troop of actors. Many of them I had worked with in some capacity in the past, but there were also a couple that I hadn't had the opportunity to work with before. Then came the task of finding a time when they could all get together. Which once again through the use of social media (that is, Facebook) we were able to get a time and place figured out.
Then came the question of how to get an audience. Well, that worked out fairly easily too. Once again, TCT came to my rescue. An announcement was sent out to members with known email addresses (though it seems a few folks were missed) announcing as a member benefit the chance to see and comment on a new play being developed. (If you're a member, look for more member benefits to come in the future. If you're not a member... Well you should be.) This got a great group of people to come out and see the reading.
And the reading went well. The cast dived into the characters with enthusiasm. The audience laughed at all the expected spots and some that I hadn't expected. Though a couple good lines got covered up by the audience laughing... These things happen.
And then once the play was over both the cast and audience were invited to make comments. And I got some great ones. A couple of the characters were confusing and needed some changes to fix them up. Some extra scenes and parts of scenes were suggested. A few loops needed closed and a couple typos were mentions. But overall there was an overwhelming level of approval from both groups.
Since then I have taken some time and made some changes, not every suggestion was used, but I think all were considered and several of them have made it into the play in some way. The play is better now and I've got a few more things to work on. But I now am getting ready to start sending it off. First to a group up in the San Francisco area. Then who knows. Maybe we'll have an actual production here in the future.
But “With A Little Help From My Friends” I've got an even better play than I did before. And I had a wonderful night hearing my play, my story, my words, entertain people.