Many of your favorite musicals and plays began life as readings, which are just what they sound like. The playwright gathers a group of professional actors to read through the script so the author can hear what it sounds like, often for the first time.
Some are open to the public; some are “industry only,” meaning that they are open only to invited theatre professionals. ”Staged readings” are more elaborately presented, sometimes with staging and rudimentary costumes.
Here are three planned for the coming weeks:
A Bad Night (November 5) Abingdon Theatre Company is hosting this staged reading of a play co-written by Nicole Pandolfo and Amy E. Witting and directed by Jackson Gay. The play is described as “a complex portrait of acquaintance rape as told by real interviews from men and women, survivors, detectives, attorneys, and others affected by what is a problem of inconceivable proportions.” The reading is free and open to the public, 8 PM at the June Havoc Theatre (312 West 36th Street, Manhattan). Tickets can be reserved by emailing email@example.com.
The Lobby (November 7) A new comedy farce by Don Creedon will get an industry reading at 11:30 AM and 3:30 PM at The Elektra Theatre (300 West 43rd Street). The reading is directed by Eric Tucker (Bedlam’s Sense & Sensibility). Producers describe it thus: ”The Lobby is about Jimmy Burgess—the unassuming night doorman of a posh downtown loft-space, and his old friend Miles O'Riordan. Jimmy is stuck behind a desk watching life in New York City pass him by, while the incorrigible ne’er do-well Miles is always looking for the next scheme to get ahead, often at Jimmy's expense. The Lobby’s elevator doors open and close seemingly on Jimmy and his dreams. But, unbeknownst to this cast of characters, Jimmy has plans of his own.” Theatre professionals who wish to attend should contact GeneralManagement@DavenportTheatrical.com for more information.
The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen (November 14-15) This special invitation-only industry reading of a new musical is based on Lloyd Alexander’s novel about a Chinese prince. When his father’s kingdom is threatened, Prince Jen embarks on a quest to seek the aid of a powerful Emperor, carrying with him five seemingly ordinary gifts. The show has music by Daniel Green and book and lyrics by Lezlie Wade. The reading will be performed by Joshua Dela Cruz (Aladdin, Here Lies Love), Ashley Park (The King and I, Mamma Mia!), Alan Ariano (Miss Saigon, M. Butterfly), Sean MacLaughlin (The Phantom of the Opera, Evita), Raymond J. Lee (Mamma Mia!, Anything Goes), Paolo Montalban (ABC-TV’s Cinderella, Pacific Overtures), Ann Sanders (Beauty and the Beast, Avenue Q), Zoe Manarel (Matilda), Scott Watanabe (The Phantom of the Opera, Allegiance), Jay Paranada, EJ Zimmerman, Kelvin Moon Loh, Eric Badiqué, Samantha Funk, and Dorcas Leung.