Here are a couple of shots of the wonderful actors who performed that night. From left to right (above), I'd like to introduce Russell Costen, Carol Rust, Roger Simon, Davis Bennett, Rhonda Lee Brown, Bill Thompson, Maureen Hines, and Renye Ress* (sitting). Sean Mellot is standing second from right below. These people, between the lines of their own lives, took the time to rehearse and perform this play for the purpose of helping this playwright further develop the work. The memory of our time together is one that I will always cherish. I, first and foremost, thank them all from the bottom of my heart.
The audience was 40+ people. (I think it was almost 50 but my hope was for 40 so I'll leave it at that.) I had spent three weeks prior to the performance posting flyers around Denver and sending out email to virtual groups that I belong to, virtual groups that I don't belong to, people I know, and people I don't know. Amazingly, it worked - I saw some people I know and some that I don't know. I even didn't see people that I do know which leads me to believe that I did, in fact, have a large audience. Thank you all for attending.
It was truly an incredible experience for me to see actors bring to three dimensions the characters that I had, up until then, only heard in my head. I learned a lot about the play in terms of lines that could (and should) be cut by just hearing them said aloud. Even more telling were the comments I received from the members of the audience that stayed for the talkback. I thank all the friends and playwrights who gathered the courage to tell me what they thought. It was incredible feedback that I will use to make this play even better than I think it is now. (Hey I'm allowed.)
It was a whirlwind of a month from my initial decision to do this reading through the actual performance. My goal at the beginning of the year was to write this play and have a reading. Well, I did it. It's funny that the day before the reading I thought to myself that the next time I wasn't going to be so self-indulgent with my goals. Fast forward to the morning after the reading and I'm already thinking, next stop, the coast. If I mentioned which coast I was referring to that would again be self-indulgent so I'll just leave it open for now. And with a little luck, someone else will pay for the wedding cake next goal around.
UPDATE: I received an email from the artistic director of a theatre in Pennsylvania who, based on the synopsis I submitted, wants to read the script. So now I have a week to integrate the changes I decided to make based on the audience's comments. Great news but I thought the stress was over. Oy gevalt.
* I'd like to thank my fellow playwright Renye Ress for her time, experience and ear. She gave me invaluable help in putting this reading together and was the evening's hostess. Check out the Denver Playwrights wiki for information on our next play reading on Nov. 26. Renye's own play, The Magician Auditions, is being read on Dec. 10.
** And Cathy Thomas for grabbing my notebook and writing down what everyone said before the headiness of the evening made me forget.
*** And, last but not least, George - for the cookies, the brownies, and other stuff, too.