I've talked in the past about how a great way to evaluate your own work with fresh eyes is to hold a table read. I've done it for some of my own scripts and had both the thrill of hearing my characters come to life and the soul-crushing embarrassment of enduring scenes that desperately needed a rewrite. Nothing highlights the moments that need improvement like hearing talented actors attempt to perform them.
Well, the Black List is working to make that process that much easier for WGA members. Earlier this week they launched a private screenplay reading series with the help of casting directors Deborah Aquila and Lisa Zagoria. This reading and all future readings will feature actors from the Aquila Morong studio. As the Black List's press release announces, the series is "designed to allow working screenwriters to privately workshop in-progress original material with the benefit of hearing it performed by professional actors for an invite-only audience of their choice and at no cost to them."
Aquila and Zagoria agree, “Work shopping a script-in-progress is a great way for the writer to hear what works and what might not, and for actors to stretch their muscles and play around with different characters that they may not typically have the opportunity to play.”
Their press release further announces:
The Black List is currently accepting submissions for the Works in Progress series. Scripts should be that which the writer has an eagerness to workshop with an eye toward an immediate rewrite. Any WGA members (East or West) interested in submitting their script for a potential read can do so by emailing WIP@blcklst.com with a brief description of the script, why the author wishes to have it read, and who they’d like in their audience to help workshop the script. Writers should also have at least one script listed in the Black List's screenplay database (a free service for all WGAe, WGAw, and WGGB members).
Following the first event, which was a reading of a screenplay by Brian Duffield, Black List founder Franklin Leonard said, “The Black List has always been about highlighting and supporting ambitious storytelling, and this is a particularly exciting platform where we’ll do it. This is the first of many, and we look forward to hearing from writers about material to which they’d like to give similar treatment. Seriously, get in touch.”
I'm sure I've got some WGA members who read this site, so I hope this is of use to you. Drop me an invite sometime and I might even show up.
Here's what the puppet had to say on table reads: