A Reading at Geva Theatre – Elevating the game for all involved
When I first started the Farm Theater, the name inspired by the ‘farm’ system of baseball whose mission is to cultivate early career artists, someone asked me who was my ‘major’ league? I didn’t have one. I couldn’t guarantee that I could get an artist to the major league level. That is when I came up with the idea of partnering with colleges to help develop the writer and students’ skills to prepare them to work at the highest level. This past Wednesday – the college collaboration got invited up to the ‘show’ and the experience was valuable to everyone involved.
Thank You, Geva!
I am thrilled that we were able to partner on this project. Geva Theatre, in Rochester, NY, hosted the first public reading of Your Wings Have Eyes. The SUNY Brockport cast read the play, directed by Frank Kuhn, in front of an audience of over 100 people. The process of the reading was valuable for the growth of the play, it created a wonderful way to begin the working relationship of the writer and director, and deepened the investment of the student actors to the work, as well as giving everyone an excellent experience.
Also, I am incredibly appreciative of Geva’s enthusiastic audience that stayed for a very healthy and positive talk back afterward. Hearing the play in front of an audience for the first time elevated our listening to and experience of the story. Especially with an audience made up people that are not familiar with the playwright. The reading allowed us to see the strengths of the story as well as identify the needs of the play with great clarity. I will let Micheline share the discoveries of the script – if she chooses to. I will share that because of the work done by Geva and SUNY Brockport we were able to have a focused conversation about the next step of development for the play.
Frank Kuhn, the director, did an excellent job preparing the students to present the work at a professional level. The audience at Geva came to see a professional reading on a new work. And they did. I was incredibly impressed and proud of the students work. The play was served and it is clear that each of them is invested in the play.
It was a joy to watch Jenni work with the playwright and audience. It is clear that she has a wonderful relationship with the Geva audience. She perfectly described the process of the collaboration project and at what point of development the script was in. She then navigated a positive, inviting, and thoughtful discussion of the play after the reading. It was a pleasure to have Jenni Werner hosted the event. I look forward to her sharing her thoughts on the text with Micheline. It was wonderful to watch her work with the playwright and audience. I look forward to her sharing her thoughts on the text with Micheline.
The reading also gave Frank and Micheline the opportunity to begin working together. When I arrived at the end of rehearsal they were in the middle of an animated positive discussion of what they had learned and appreciated from the day’s work.
This experience will benefit all of the collaborators in the process of developing the play.