Sarah Ruhl has never done it. Noel Coward did it only occasionally. Alan Ayckbourn does it every chance he gets.
What am I talking about? Directing your own work, of course. And I'm about to jump into the fray myself, directing a staged reading of my full-length play, The Butler Did It!
Yes, it had a successful reading at my playwriting workshop. But it still feels like a stranger to me. There are a million things I don't know about it.
Does the physical comedy work? Is there some gaping plot hole hiding somehwere in Act II? Does the play hang together as a complete piece of work?
And then there's the most important question of all. How will an audience respond?
I expect that some of these questions will be answered at the staged reading in Cheyenne. But there are other things I won't learn unless I mount the play myself. Unless I actually sweat through the details of guiding the actors and moving the furniture and hanging the lights and seeing if someone really can dial a telephone with their nose.
Because this is going to be more than a reading. There will be a set. There will be props. And the actors will act out all of the stage directions. I guess it's what they call a "script-in-hand" production.
So if you're in Colorado Springs on Friday, September 15, I'd like to personally invite you to the first staged reading of The Butler Did It!
There will actually be two readings, starting at 3pm and 7pm. It all takes place at the University School of Colorado Springs, 2713 W. Cucharras St. There's no cost to attend, but a donation will be accepted to feed the animals, er, actors.
You can get your tickets here: