Staged Reading Series


What is a staged reading?

There are so many exciting plays in the world, and like most theater companies Theatre Language Studio doesn’t have time to produce them all, so with our staged reading series, we offer audiences and actors a glimpse into the world of many new plays, hopefully without losing any of the pleasure of a full production. The Spring Reading series is designed to extend our mission beyond the productions we offer each season, by producing plays that connect with today’s social and political issues. Each play reading is free (donations are accepted) and offer a post-show talkback, to give the audience a chance to reflect on the piece and its themes.

Staged readingA play is a literary text that is meant to be seen, heard and spoken rather than read silently. A staged reading is a simplified form of theatre that is read by actors with scripts in hand in front of an audience. It is a means of exploring a piece of theatre without being a fully-realized production, where the emphasis is on hearing the text instead of seeing it. In some cases it is more playwright focused, allowing the author to hear their words out loud, and to see how an audience reacts to the piece. It is often part of a workshopping process, to help get the playwright to the next stage. It can also be used by theatre companies to explore a piece of theatre, to decide if the play would be suitable or not for full-scale production.

Staged ReadingStaged readings vary in their elaborateness, some being read at a table with seated actors, others being simply costumed and semi-staged. The pieces are cast by a director and then rehearsed for approximately 4 – 12 hours, depending on the needs of the reading.

Frankfurt_Venue_47Once put in front of the live audience, the producing organisation can understand better how a piece resonates, and discover deeper layers of meaning that are not as clear without the benefit of good actors lifting the text off the page with tone, resonance and emotion. The key idea is to keep things as minimal as possible, so the audience can focus on the text. Though sound, lighting and costumes do enhance a production, sometimes they alter our perception of a piece. A good staged reading with excellent actors is integral to an audience member’s understanding of the play.

Staged readingTLS holds a talkback after each of its staged readings, which is a live question and answer session with the audience, cast and crew. The comments and insight from the audience is very important in discovering different points of view about the text and its author’s intentions. Through this we can understand what works and what doesn’t, what rang true and what fell flat. It is this conversation we want to have with audiences, to discover the universal ideas of the play and how it filters through an international crowd, such as those we welcome here in Frankfurt.

Was ist eine szenische Lesung?

Szenische Lesungen Es gibt soviel spannende Schauspiele in der Welt und wie die meisten Theatergruppen hat auch das Theatre Language Studio nicht die Zeit sie alle zu produzieren, daher bieten wir dem Publikum und Schauspielern mit unserer Serie szenischer Lesungen einen Einblick in die Welt vieler neuer Stücke, in der Hoffnung, das Vergnügen einer gesamten Produktion nicht zu verlieren.

Ein Schauspiel ist ein literarischer Text, der dazu vorgesehen ist, gesehen, gehört und gesprochen zu werden, anstatt ruhig gelesen zu werden. Eine szenische Lesung ist eine vereinfachte Form des Theaters, die von Schauspielern mit Skripten in der Hand vor einem Publikum gelesen wird. Es ist ein Mittel, ein Theaterstück zu erforschen, ohne eine völlig realisierte Produktion zu sein, wobei der Schwerpunkt auf dem Hören des Textes liegt, anstatt ihn zu sehen. In einigen Fällen liegt der Fokus mehr auf dem Bühnenautor, was dem Autor erlaubt, seine Worte laut zu hören und zu sehen, wie das Publikum auf das Stück reagiert. Es ist oft Teil eines Workshop-Prozesses, um dem Autor zu helfen, zur nächsten Phase zu gelangen. Es kann auch von Theatergruppen verwendet werden, um ein Theaterstück zu erforschen, um dann zu entscheiden, ob das Spiel für eine vollständige Produktion geeignet wäre oder nicht.

Szenische Lesungen uFrankfurt_Venue_61nterscheiden sich in ihrer ausführlichen Behandlung, wobei einige mit sitzenden Akteure an einem Tisch gelesen werden, während andere einfach kostümiert und halbszenisch dargestellt werden. Die Stücke werden von einem Regisseur besetzt und dann für ca. 4 – 12 Stunden geprobt, abhängig von der Ausführlichkeit der Lesung.

Wird es einmal vor einem Live-Publikum aufgeführt, kann die Organisation, die es produziert, besser nachvollziehen, was für einen Nachhall ein Stück bekommt und sie entdecken die tieferen Schichten der Bedeutung, die nicht so klar sind, ohne den Vorteil guter Schauspieler, die den Text aus der Seite heben, mit Ton, Resonanz und Emotion. Die Schlüsselidee ist, die Dinge so minimal wie möglich zu halten, damit das Publikum sich auf den Text konzentrieren kann. Obwohl Ton, Licht und Kostüme eine Produktion anreichert, verändern diese manchmal unsere Wahrnehmung eines Stücks. Eine gute szenische Lesung mit hervorragenden Schauspielern ist für einen Zuschauer wesentlich für das Verständnis des Stücks.

TLS hält nacImmersion-22-October-TLS-38h jeder seiner szenischen Lesungen eine Zuschauerbeteiligung ab, was eine Live-Fragerunde mit dem Publikum, der Besetzung und der Crew ist. Die Kommentare und Einsichten aus dem Publikum sind beim Entdecken unterschiedlicher Standpunkte über den Text und die Absichten des Autors sehr wichtig. Dadurch können wir verstehen, was funktioniert und was nicht, was wahr klang und was nicht gut ankam. Es ist dieses Gespräch, das wir mit dem Publikum haben möchten, um die universellen Ideen des Spiels zu entdecken und wie es durch ein internationales Publikum durchläuft, wie diejenigen Zuschauer, die wir hier in Frankfurt begrüßen.



The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl | Friday, Feb 24 & Saturday, Feb 25, 20:00

A runner-up for the Pulitzer prize, the play takes place in “metaphysical Connecticut,” mostly in the home of a married couple who are both doctors. They have hired a housekeeper named Matilde, an aspiring comedian from Brazil who’s more interested in coming up with the perfect joke than in house-cleaning. Lane, the lady of the house, has an eccentric sister named Virginia who’s just nuts about house-cleaning. She and Matilde become fast friends, and Virginia takes over the cleaning while Matilde works on her jokes. Trouble comes when Lane’s husband Charles reveals that he has found his soulmate in a cancer patient named Anna, on whom he has operated. The actors who play Charles and Anna also play Matilde’s parents in a series of dream-like memories, as we learn the story about how they literally killed each other with laughter, giving new meaning to the phrase, “I almost died laughing.” This theatrical and wildly funny play is a whimsical and poignant look at class, comedy and the true nature of love.

Translations by Brian Friel | Friday, Mar 24 & Saturday, Mar 25, 20:00

Set in a small Irish town in the summer of 1833. Hugh O’Donnell is the headmaster of a hedge school, a rural school that teaches basic education to farm families. Hugh insists on teaching in Irish, even though he knows that the language will inevitably change to English. In examining the effects of this operation on the lives of a small group, Brian Friel skilfully reveals the far-reaching personal and cultural effects of an action which is at first sight purely administrative. Friel’s play demonstrates the relationship between language and culture and the ways we choose to ignore or break down our cultural barriers.

Wit | Friday, Apr 28 & Saturday, Apr 29, 20:00

Margaret Edson’s 1999 Pulitzer Prize–winning play examines what makes life worth living through her exploration of one of existence’s unifying experiences—mortality—while probing the vital importance of human relationships. The action of the play takes place during the final hours of Dr Vivian Bearing, a university professor of English, dying of ovarian cancer. What we as her audience take away from this play is that while death is real and unavoidable, our lives are ours to cherish or throw away. As the playwright herself puts it, “The play is not about doctors or even about cancer. It’s about kindness, but it shows arrogance. It’s about compassion, but it shows insensitivity.”

In Wit, Edson delves into timeless questions with no final answers: How should we live our lives knowing that we will die? Is the way we live our lives and interact with others more important than what we achieve materially, professionally, or intellectually? How does language figure into our lives? Can science and art help us conquer death, or our fear of it? What will seem most important to each of us about life as that life comes to an end?