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Hi Pandemic Play Readers,

It has been extremely exciting to pull together the reading of FOOD COURT by Beverly Coyle! We originally had scheduled a reading at Seminole State College. When everything closed down, it seemed as though we would have to postpone indefinitely. When Amy Taipale Canfield began the Pandemic Play Reading Series, it really energized us to place it back on our schedules. I thankfully had not only Matt Kizer and Amy to consult with on the ins and outs of Zoom, I also brought in Sydney Gabel as a technical director.

FOOD COURT takes place in a mall. Perhaps the last place one would expect to find a new lease on life. Yet, James, who is facing the greatest challenge of his life, meets Rachel, perhaps the one person in the world who can help him through.

I am grateful to be working with Beverly Coyle again, a playwright and novelist for whom I have great admiration. Working on her play SHOW OF FORCE, a docudrama of the lives of women veteran’s made me appreciate her great skill with language, character and dialogue. She brings humor and pathos to all her characters.

One of the upsides to presenting virtual staged readings is the ability to find a dream cast from all parts of the globe. I am currently in Central Florida, and grateful that regional actor Joe Kolasa, who took part in a previous reading remained available to play Gerald, Stu and Donny, and bring all that he found several months ago. I thought of Michael Whistler, a colleague who now lives in Minneapolis to play James–not only did I believe he would completely capture the rhythms and wit of James, he is also a playwright and I knew he could contribute richly to the discussion. Finally, once I shared this benefit of working remotely with Beverly, she thought to bring in Judith Ivey to play Rachel (aged 14) for the reading. Yes, that Judith Ivey–two time Tony winner Judith Ivey–a consummate actress.

In our rehearsal, what I learned was that this technology can bring us together. It doesn’t replicate a living room reading exactly–there are new interferences and glitches that can occur, but what can happen is that actors can listen and respond to each other and we can hear the play. What a gift in these times.

1 thought on “Food Court & The Virtual Living Room

  1. WOW! I was wondering if you had found someone to read for the 14 year old, and sort of regretting that I didn’t follow up with you about it (too many other things to think about).
    Getting Judith Ivey is a BIG DEAL! Amazing! <3

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This reading is scheduled for:

Wednesday Dec. 31, 1969 05:00 PM (concluded)

Zoom Link:

When you attend as an audience member:

  •  Use headphones if you can.
  •  Please mute your microphone when not applauding or laughing or responding.
  •  Please turn off your video transmission while actors are reading.  You are welcome to have it on preshow and during intermission.

Scheduled Readings