Meet the Artist 2018:
New Play Readings
Dreamcatcher’s “Meet the Artist” series is a forum that showcases new theatrical works. The series provides audiences an opportunity to experience new shows and participate in discussions with playwrights, directors and actors. The series’s goal is to expose the adult public to the evolution of a theatrical presentation.
The “Meet the Artist” series has been received with enthusiasm and animated discussion, indicating that there is a large audience for new plays and interactive programs, and we are excited that we can continue offering new works each season.
Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, professional Theatre in Residence at the Oakes Center in Summit, will present its annual Meet the Artist new play reading series on Wednesday May 16 and Wednesday May 23 at 7 pm at the Oakes Center.
The new play reading series is a chance for the audience to participate in the development of new works, both to hear the play read by professional actors and also to discuss the project with the playwright, director and actors afterward. Feedback from these evenings helps the playwrights to further refine their scripts and also gives them a first-hand experience of how the audience will respond to the finished work. These evenings provide a fun and lively way to interact with the creative process, and to receive a preview of plays that may be performed on Dreamcatcher's mainstage in the future.
Psychodrama by Phoebe Farber
Wednesday, May 16 at 7 pm
Welcome to the weekly divorce group, held in the basement of the Unitarian church. The members are suddenly left stranded when Mitchell, their leader leaves halfway through. Luckily, Barb has agreed to be the new group leader. Hold onto your seat.
Cast: Harry Patrick Christian, Laura Ekstrand,
Anna Marie Sell, Harriett Trangucci, Chris Young
Director: Betsy True
Wolf at the Door by Richard Dresser
Wednesday, May 23 at 7 pm
An upper west side apartment building has a new owner, and the residents are spooked. Why are their neighbors steadily disappearing? Why are the Norwegians being confined to the top floor? And what are the intentions of their landlord, who has yet to keep any of his promises?
Cast: Michael Aquino, Nicole Callender, Clark Carmichael, Kat Choe, Noreen Farley, Scott McGowan
Director: Laura Ekstrand
Location: Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ
What is a “Reading”?
A reading is a performance of a play that focuses on the words of the script and the interaction of the actors without sets, props and costumes. Readings are a way to present plays in front of live audiences without the expense of a fully staged production. While readings can be of new or existing works, Dreamcatcher chooses to read new plays only. Readings of new shows can help a show’s creative team see what works and what might need a rewrite. When a reading goes particularly well, Dreamcatcher will consider the play for a fully-staged production in an upcoming season.
What to Expect
Just like in a staged performance, Dreamcatcher company members and guest actors will perform all the roles in the play. Typically, the cast will be seated in chairs onstage, and they will read their lines from the script. They might occasionally stand up and move about. There may also be a narrator, who reads aloud stage directions and describes scenery or movement as written in the script. There will be no costumes or sets.
Are readings appropriate for kids?
The themes of most chosen plays are probably “of interest” to those approximately 12 and up.
Overall, play readings are similar to reading non-picture books to your children at home. If your child can focus, listen, pay close attention, and imagine the setting for the play, she or he will probably enjoy the reading. Remember: there are no costumes or sets, and there is no action.
Why would I attend a reading if I can wait for a fully staged production?
Play readings at Dreamcatcher are about discovering new artists and their works, and including yourself in the development cycle of the plays. You will get to witness a work in progress, and afterwards you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback to the creative team. Playwrights often use readings to test new characters and lines in front of live audiences. And if you do come back for a fully staged production, you might notice some of your suggestions incorporated into the final performance.