Did you know if you have 4 of anything, it’s a collection? At least that’s what I was told by a toy collector/dealer friend awhile back.
Well, I’m a collector of plays. Not in any systematic way, just randomly as I find interesting ones in second-hand book stores, and buy them off the play sites.
As you know, plays are meant to be performed, so it’s not surprising to find that reading them alone leaves a bit to be desired. So 4 months ago now, I started having people over for one evening a month to read a play. It has been a gas! We gather at 7 pm, settle with wine and script copies, and get going. I give a bit of a background on the script (if needed), why I picked it…and I hand out roles. At ‘intermission’, we get more wine, and discuss the play so far. Afterwards of course, we discuss the play a bit more. All in all, a delightful evening.
Among the people who come are theatre goers, backstage people, actors, directors and producers. I personally would rather not read, because one of the reasons I love directing is because I see myself as Audience — and so I just want to listen. (But I will read, and do enjoy it.)
So, plays we’ve read so far:
1. Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose — I wanted to read this play because I love the movie that was adapted from the original play. And I wanted to discuss how it would be still relevant today.
2. Top Girls by Caryl Churchill — I’d picked up this play on a whim, and reading it on my own, I really enjoyed the opening scene where the main character celebrates with a group of colourful historical women. Reading it live, it was hilarious and fraught, as a good play should be.
3. Dry Streak by Leeann Minogue — This is an amusing modern play, set in a Saskatchewan farming town in the 80s, that a community theatre company in a neighbouring community had done a couple of years ago. I’m still hoping to do it in my community.
4. Almost, Maine by John Cariani — Another play that I”m looking forward to directing. We were vastly amused and warmed by this lovely script.
I will keep you posted on plays we discover through this process — and I would welcome any suggestions anyone out there might have!