What Is a Table Read?
A table read (also known as a read-through) is an organized reading of a script in which the speaking parts, stage directions, voiceover, and scene headings are read out loud. A table reading also provides an opportunity for the cast members, screenwriters, and other members of the production team to hear the script aloud for the first time.
Why Is a Table Read Important?
A table read is an essential part of the script development and writing process, as writers use them as an opportunity to fine tune their stories, sharpen their dialogue, and make other necessary screenwriting adjustments.
For actors, the table read with other actors is an opportunity to discover a character out loud and begin making choices that will carry over into the actual performance.
How will we be "performing" these scripts at the end?
For our actors, we will be performing these plays as live shows on Zoom, with invitations on Facebook - LIVE for audiences to see you live as well as to watch it afterwards. The three productions will be staggered every Saturday (not Thanksgiving weekend), enabling you to be a leading role in one play and also a supporting part in another one or two.
Auditions: how will they look?
We will be holding a private audition for everyone who registers. You will be given between 5-10 minute slots with the panel of directors.
WHEN: Sunday October 4th
WHAT NEEDED: a monologue / under 1 minute / dramatic or comedic (your choice)
We will be calling those from whom we need to see more, for additional reads. You will be sent the call-back material and we ask you to study it. Make character choices. Come prepared and ready to listen to what the directors need.
WHEN: Tuesday October 6th
***If you cannot attend this Tuesday just let us know...***
When are Rehearsals?
Each production has a different rehearsal day. When you are asked for your conflicts please let us know for ALL dates listed for the entire run of all 3 plays.
STARTING: the week of October 11th, 2020
TUESDAYS - The Breakfast Club
Zoom meetings from 4-6pm
Performance is Saturday December 12th, 2020
THURSDAYS - 12 Angry Jurors
Zoom meetings from 4-6pm
Performance is Saturday December 5th, 2020
SUNDAYS - CLUE on stage
Zoom meetings from 3-5pm
Performance is Saturday November 21st, 2020
MEET THE DIRECTORS...
Directing CLUE OnStage
Brie is a local professional performer-turned-domestic engineer, having appeared in such productions as Oliver!, Anything Goes, & Cabaret at Cabrillo Stage, and other works on stage and film, including Pigtail Production’s Frog & Wombat. She returns to All About Theatre in this directorial role after having directed productions such as Sweeney Todd, Les Miserables and West Side Story. She is a UCSC cum laude alum and currently works as a birth doula in Santa Cruz.
Directing 12 Angry Jurors
This is Brad’s 7th production for All About Theatre. Previously he has directed, Billy Elliot, Batboy, Spring Awakening, The Addams Family, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Matilda and the AAT 15th Anniversary Gala: Metamorphosis. Brad won the Mimi Steinberg playwriting award at Brandeis University where he studied writing and directing with Martin Halpern, David Wheeler, Michael Murray and Edward Albee, Jayne Anne Phillips, Geoffrey Wolff and others. He has had his plays produced off Broadway and in Boston and is an investor in the Whitefire Theater in Sherman Oaks California.
Directing The Breakfast Club
After a long absence due to parenthood and homeschool life, Kyle has been happy to return to the theater world via All About Theatre (AAT). She recently Assistant Directed and costumed In The Heights, and costumed Fiddler On The Roof and The Drowsy Chaperone at AAT and taught Acting Summer Camp this June. Her own theater career has been lengthy and diverse, from acting, singing and dancing to directing, costuming, stage managing and more. Some of her favorite roles she has had the privilege to perform include Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, Cassie in A Chorus Line, Rizzo in Grease, Blanche DuBois in A StreetCar Named Desire, and the title character in Lysistrata. She has also performed in many student films and local table reads, as well as original local productions.
7 Tips on Having a Successful Table Read/Audition
Actors should approach table reads with the same diligence and preparation as an audition or an on-camera performance. Here are the secrets to making a great impression at a table read:
- Come prepared. Professional actors prepare for table reads the same way they would for an actual performance. Read through the script in advance. Break down your character and identify where performance choices can be made. Research references or words you are unfamiliar with so that you’re able to properly pronounce them. Having a strong familiarity with the source material will help you feel confident and prepared on the day of the table work.
- Arrive early. It may sound simple, but arriving to a script read through 5 or 10 minutes early can make a huge difference. Give yourself as much time as possible to relax, socialize with the director and other actors, and look over the script again. This will help you feel comfortable in your environment and allow yourself to give your entire focus to the performance.
- Don’t just read. A table read is your first opportunity as an actor to make character choices and show the entire creative team what you are capable of. Try to perform with the same energy level that you would if you were in front of a camera. A subpar table read performance can sometimes result in a part being reduced or an actor being replaced.
- Make eye contact. Nobody is expecting you to have the entire script memorized for a table read. However, you should be familiar enough with the script so that your eyes are not glued to it for the entire time. Try to look up and make eye contact with your fellow performers. This will help you connect with your fellow performers and allow the creative team get a sense of the chemistry between the actors.
- Make the most of a small part. Even if you only have a small role, commit and make choices as if you were the lead of a feature film. Most of the time, the film’s casting director attends the first read through, and a memorable performance in a small role could lead to a great opportunity later. For instance, a great performance of a tiny part in a sitcom could result in that character getting a large arc later in the series.
- Bring a water bottle. Most table reads will provide water, but you should bring your own just in case! A table read for a feature film can often last two or more hours, and you don’t want a cough or a dry mouth to affect your performance.
- Take notes. Bring a pen to jot down thoughts or questions in your script during the reading. These notes can often serve as reminders for further character exploration or questions you have for the director or screenwriter.