Process: Playwriting

Almost as important as being earnest, I learned the utmost import of having a staged reading for a theater play. My first reading was about 6 years ago and started as a one act that has now been expanded into a two act, much guided by the general reaction to the initial one act that was performed.

I am always grateful for the priceless value of hearing the words read by actors before an audience. While there is that slippery slope of falling into that outside influence trap, there are more things to be considered in the realms of more technical nuances including cadence, diction, syntax, and other grammatical and reverential issues.

This reading was a big departure in terms of audience – as I had to pay strict detail to certain cultural issues that could have easily gotten lost in translation, as in this international city of Berlin, English is the bridge language and for most not their native one.

For example, in the original text, I used the American word “Server” instead of “Waitress”. An actor posed the obvious question during one of the rehearsals and I obliged in removing the word as it was negligible in terms of the context in the story, but a necessary change for overall comprehension.

I use technology a lot to record most of the artistic process (I have days and days of footage from most of my rehearsals and when I am working in other mediums). With the librarian background, it serves not only as a resource but it is an artifact of archive.

Listening to the script, following along with the script, reading the script, listening to the script without following along – these four methods have spawned different necessary corrections. Then just watching (in that difficult feat of trying to be entertained by my own work instead of critiquing the shit out of it) helps me to get an overall view as to what it is I want to convey – and actors always add some type of discovery that can be adjusted if necessary too.


(c) Melissa Pond

(c) Melissa Pond


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