Guidelines for Preparing a Reading


  1. The Producer may share the reviewer rankings (without reviewer names) with the playwright.
  2. The Producer and Playwright should:
    1. Select if the production will be a Seated Play Reading or a Staged Reading with blocking/movement.
    2. Determine who the Director, Stage Manager and Crew (if required) should be.
    3. Note – the Playwright will NOT be at rehearsals – only the actual reading.
  3. The Producer should:
    1. Create a 1 page printed Program announcing the play, playwright, actors, and script history.
    2. Have a lighting designer create a basic wash for the stage, if possible. And instruct the Stage Manager how to light the stage.
  4. The Producer and Director should:
    1. Determine the expected run length that the actual play reading may be.
    2. Work with the Villagers VP Production on where (lobby, meeting room or black box) and when (dates/time). rehearsals will be, and when the Reading will be.
    3. Arrange a meet and greet time with Producer, Director, Playwright, Cast, Stage Manager & Crew (before the audience is seated).
    4. Decide who and what will be said as a message to the audience, prior to the reading beginning. Guidelines:
      1. Introduce who you are and you’re involvement.
      2. Thank the audience for their attendance.
      3. Thank the original Play Readers for their help reviewing submissions.
      4. Mention the Program and how they can reach the playwright if you’d like to send private comments.
      5. Explain that there will be a talk-back after the show, when the playwright, director, stage manager and cast will be introduced.
      6. Advise that the audience will be encouraged to ask questions.
      7. Emergency Exists etc.
    5. Determine who will moderate the talk-back.
  5. The Stage Manager should:
    1. Prepare large print copies of the script (no iPads/devices allowed).
    2. Attend rehearsals and note any blocking.
    3. For rehearsals AND the reading:
      1. Call Stage Directions.
      2. Open/close the theater.
      3. Turn on/off necessary lighting (a basic wash on stage, with house lights down).
      4. Turn on/off HVAC.
      5. Setup any set placement/furniture/props or actor chairs and music stands and return things where they belong.
      6. Coordinate any crew and call places.
  6. The Director should:
    1. Determine and communicate their creative interpretation of the play – but no changes to the actual script.
    2. Cast the show – collecting conflict dates.
    3. Schedule rehearsals during cast and room/resource availability.
    4. Coach the cast.
    5. Run the rehearsals.
    6. Determine if there will be an intermission.
    7. Attend the reading and participate in talk-backs.