Play Readings: A Complete Guide for Theatre Practitioners demystifies the standards and protocols of a play reading, demonstrating how to create effective and evocative readings for those new to or inexperienced with the genre. It examines all of the essential considerations involved in readings, including the use of the venue, pre-reading preparations, playwright/director communication, editing/adapting stage directions, casting, using the limited rehearsal time effectively, simple "staging" suggestions, working with actors, handling complex stage directions, talkbacks, and limiting the use of props, costumes, and music. A variety of readings are covered, including readings of musicals, operas, and period plays, for comprehensive coverage of this increasingly prevalent production form.
Rob Urbinati is a freelance director and playwright based in New York City, and Director of New Play Development at Queens Theatre. In New York, he has directed for Pearl Theater, The Public Theater, Classic Stage Company, York Theatre, The Culture Project, Abingdon Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre and New York University. He has also directed at theatres and universities across the country. Rob's plays include "Hazelwood Jr. High," "West Moon Street" and "Death By Design," published by Samuel French. "Rebel Voices," "Cole Porter's Nymph Errant" and "The Queen Bees" will also be published by Samuel French. Other plays include "UMW," "Karaoke Night at the Suicide Shack" and "Mama's Boy." His plays have received over 100 productions world-wide. Rob is an alumnus of the Drama League Directors Project and the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND CREDITS PREFACE INTRODUCTION PART ONE: BEFORE REHEARSALS CHAPTER ONE: GOING PUBLIC CHAPTER TWO: THE PRELIMINARIES CHAPTER THREE: TIME RESTRICTIONS CHAPTER FOUR: CASTING CHAPTER FIVE: MODEL FOR A PLAY READING CHAPTER SIX: STAGE DIRECTIONS PART TWO: REHEARSAL AND PERFORMANCE CHAPTER SEVEN: BEFORE REHEARSAL BEGINS CHAPTER EIGHT Movement, Gestures and Adapting Stage Directions in Rehearsal CHAPTER NINE: EDITING AND MOVEMENT FOR CHALLENGING TEXT AND STAGE DIRECTIONS CHAPTER TEN: REVIEW AND TECH CHAPTER ELEVEN: ACTING IN A PLAY READING CHAPTER TWELVE: DEVELOPMENT AND PRESENTATION CHAPTER THIRTEEN: DEVELOPING NEW MUSICALS AND OPERAS CHAPTER FOURTEEN: NON-DEVELOPMENTAL READINGS PART THREE: AFTER THE READING CHAPTER FIFTEEN: AUDIENCES AND TALKBACKS CHAPTER SIXTEEN: THE FOLLOW-UP EPILOGUE: MOVING FORWARD Appendix A - For Emerging Artists Appendix B - Unions and Guilds Appendix C - Selections, Cuttings and Excerpts Appendix D - A Playwright's Responses: E. Rey Patmatat Appendix E - Advice from a Casting Director: Tom Rowan Appendix F - International Readings: Horacio Perez INDEX