by Clare Solly, Apprentice Director
There are many, many reasons to workshop a play. If you’re reading this, you’re probably already a part of our community and attend our Monday workshops. (Stay tuned for our Fall 2019 schedule!)
One of the main reasons I love attending play workshops is the connection to the theater community. It’s one thing to have friends and family sit around and read or listen to your script. It’s another to have a group of strangers who know nothing about you show up to hear new and original works and give you their unbiased opinions. Terrifying and thrilling at the same time, to hear your work read aloud is an amazing experience.
Another exciting outcome, besides hearing your words out loud is the feedback is when there is a connection to the work from an attendee. Although it seems to happen often, I’m always amazed when there is someone in the audience who has a very specific connection to the work presented that evening. When someone has an insight to a character or their background it is a fabulous connection. Isn’t that the reason we like the theater? Connection to each other in some strange miraculous way--the fact that someone else offers perspective that is insightful and touches us. Someone else who has the ability to say or portray what we feel and made some sense of it. Or at least made it a conversation piece.
In the last two workshops this spring, that I’ve had the pleasure of leading, I was incredibly delighted at the collaborations that started. In our April 1st reading when we discussed Ellery by Jennifer O'Grady one of the audience members related so much to the script and actually warned the playwright about diving into writing about the afterlife as she had friends and had heard other stories where the writer was then after plagued or worse.
Then last week when we discussed Dykes on Wheels by Raechel Segal, it came up that an audience member actually attended the workshop because of the plot of the script. Our audience member was a roller derby gal and had interesting insight on being inside the ring, and also shared resources with our playwright.
As an artist it is my goal to reach out and show someone something or assist them to feel something. This kind of connection, collaboration, and a giving back to the writer is the reason I keep coming back to Bechdel, and I hope you do, too.
The Bechdel Group
Working to challenge the portrayal of women in film and on stage.