To the Readers!

By Erica Bennett

“Do you have anything to add,” asked Pasadena Playhouse Associate Artistic Director Seema Sueko of LAFPI playwrights before each micro-read last night*.

We met to see the Playhouse’s imaginative production of Vanessa Claire Stewart’s Stoneface that features a remarkably versatile cast led by the singularly talented French Stewart, performing as the dissolute master, physical comedian Buster Keaton.

Stoneface actors gave generously of their time, and cold read fifteen wonderfully diverse 1-page works written by LAFPI playwrights. Slated last, I had fourteen Micro-Reads to think of two sentences of introduction to my page of dialogue from Act I of my new play, Sacrosanct

What is my play about?…

What is it About?…

What is important for actors and audience to know?…

Under the pressure, I came up with: “They are two academics, father and daughter, he, a Professor Emeritus in Library and Information Science, a librarian, and she a Professor of Creative Writing and a poet. She is under threat of [insert threat here].”… And ended it at that.

Not bad, I thought.

The actors were tremendous. The audience was appreciative. There was tension, conflict, and significant laughter, all in the right places, imho.

In my earlier plays, I’ve realized, my female protagonists are poet wannabes, I think, because so was I. “Merit” in Sacrosanct Is a poet… I think I’m finally starting to “own” it. I’ve got a long way to go. But I’m getting better at this thing, playwriting.

However, I didn’t grab Sacrosanct out of thin air.

I have four different groups of readers and they all provide feedback in their own ways that is both provocative and inspiring.

It would be a great tragedy, I think, if they didn’t know how much I appreciate their talent and time, and interest and coaching, and care and kindness.

So, I sign off my week of blogging with a great, big shout out to my Readers!!!


*Micro-Reads is am LA FPI program providing playwrights the opportunity to hear a reading of one page of their work.

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