Different types of Readings

What are the different types of “Readings”?

  1. A “Play Reading” is the simplest form of a reading, which just involves actors sitting in chairs, facing the audience, with scripts on music stands. The performance is done through just their voices. They may not even look at the other actors. Stage Directions are read by a Stage Manager. There is no set, no costumes, no props, no lighting and no sound effects. This is just actors speaking – it’s like a radio program. It involves listening – it’s not visual. This method is used when a playwright mostly wants to HEAR the play. If the playwright has not yet held a Play Reading with a full script, this is where they should typically start.
  2. A “Workshop” may be similar to a Staged Reading, and may sometimes include set elements and potential sound effects. But the name implies that the playwright is still working on the material. The script is not in its final form, and may not be appropriate to present to a full audience. The “Competition for a Full Production Run” track is NOT intended to be a Workshop.
  3. A “Staged Reading” is a step above. Staged Readings do not have a real set, or costumes or lighting. However, their intention is to “show” the potential of a production with both actor voices and visual elements. Props may signify potential set areas, and simple furniture may be used. Actors will have movement (blocking) and interaction on stage. But there is little line memorization and they will have scripts in hand. Still, actors should be familiar with the script and perform with not just emotion, but physicality. This method is used when a playwright or theatre wants to both HEAR and SEE what a production could look like. Audience members should feel like they are watching a play.