staged readings – part of the process

string Quartet silhouette

I’ve been looking for a string quartet.

Not necessarily the Juilliard or Guarneri, mind you – actually, not at all the Juilliard or Guarneri, I’m looking for players interested in participating in a unique situation, a local staged reading of THE SECRET LIFE OF BIRDS (if that link takes you to someone else’s play, try this one), my latest work-in-progress*.  Okay, the one that’s up to the being-read-in-public stage.

One of my alma maters is local – Cleveland Institute of Music/Case Western Reserve University – and they’ve been very helpful about getting the word out.  The flyer they let me post on their “gig board” has led to contact not from students, but rather (so far) two local promoters, one of whom has been pretty aggressive about wanting serious money for his players.  As he should.  Despite my explanation that this is a staged reading, part of the developmental process of a work of theater and one for which there is no pay.  (Okay, he said, instead of $175 per player per session, I can take $50, but that’s rock bottom.)

Which reminded me – reminded, I say, because even though I’m an almost-life-long theater professional, I didn’t understand just how long it takes to make a play until I started making my own – that part of my mission in life is to educate.  People will tell you they know all about it, they already know pretty much everything that there is to be known because they’re well educated, well rounded, and, well, in-the-know, kind of like late-adolescent boys trying to talk a girl into going all the way, or that current, odious C&W song in which a man implies that a woman’s needs, wishes, and dreams will be fulfilled if she’ll just let him.  Do I know why my analogies in this case are sexual?  Do I care?  I definitely digress.  Remarkably few people know what a long, arduous road playwrighting is (or everyone and their sibling wouldn’t be calling themself a playwright), so here’s a bit of education, well researched and far better written than I have time for.

Because I’m putting together this reading of my play.

*THE SECRET LIFE OF BIRDS was inspired by, and is based on and incorporates fragments of Maurice Ravel’s String Quartet in F major.




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