This past Monday, Gaslight Theatre hosted their first open read through for this year's Playroom scripts! Various Board members and past Playroom actors gathered at Misericorida University for the staged reading of nine play submissions for the attic. Following each play, readers and audience alike contributed constructive feedback regarding content, story, characters, etc.
Although the Board reads through the scripts every year, this open format provided a great opportunity for additional feedback, and for the first time ever, some of the playwrights themselves heard their drafted work.
Matthew S. Hinton, writer and Playroom creator mentioned, "Sometimes we get too 'inside' our own works to hear the sour notes or revel in the sweet ones, so a read-through by new voices and a talk back from some early audiences is, I feel, and important part of the process." Lukas Tomasacci, a third time contributor, also added, "You really can get a sense of what works and what doesn't."
This year's line up certainly promises excitement, and to our surprise, the Attic has inspired a universal theme, which other Playroom rooms have yet to do.
It's not just the memories that exist in the room upstairs, but the deep emotional attachment to the past. It's an experience; it's nostalgia. Of our families. Our history. Where we've come from and what we can hope for. Nostalgia can be a happy experience, but sometimes it can be painful. The Attic preserves and commemorates our past in a way that transcends time and space again and again. Whether it be an old bedroom or poker den, a room for storage, a place to seek refuge, or a place to simply hide Christmas gifts; the attic is the portal to those material memories. A dusty snow-cone machine. An old pirate radio station. Knowledge and wisdom gained. It's the gateway to a time that was before. A place where we can remember what it means to feel. To find our inspirations, to give up ourselves, or to lose others. To be human.
The attic is a magical place and we are more than thrilled to being moving forward on what is already a truly inspiring room.
While finalizing the details for our upcoming theatre summer camp at Lackawanna College, Gaslight Theatre company has stayed actively involved in the community and recently participated in the first-ever Scranton SOUP, an event held at The Vintage located on Spruce St. in the Electric City’s downtown area.
The event, planned in the spirit of the national movement, brought together five different theatre companies to share their vision, upcoming projects, and ideas for how to strengthen the local theatre community in NEPA. Representatives spoke from KISS Theatre Co., Ghostlight Productions, Actor’s Circle, The Vintage, and of course, Gaslight Theatre Company, courtesy of its Board members: Vice President Matthew Hinton and Anthony Melf (me!).
For a small donation of $5, participants shared in a delicious evening meal including an array of soups and sides prepared by members of the various theatre companies. Some entrées included: Salmon Bisque, Crab Bisque, Shrimp Bisque, Roasted Vegetable, Zuppa de Italiano, bread donated by Beta Bread Bakery, as well as a fruit platter and chocolate cake. Mmmmmmmm….
While we broke bread, we shared in the communal bond of eating. An art exemplified in works of literature such as Raymond Carver’s “A Small, Good Thing.” People connect over food. While sharing a meal together, we listened, spoke, and satiated our appetites forging a bond towards a newer, stronger emerging arts community in the region.
Some highlights shared:
Gaslight Theatre Company: Of course, we discussed our upcoming three-week the Art of Making Theatre Summer Camp at Lackawanna College, as well as our latest edition of Gaslight’s original Playroom series: Playroom: Attic. Stay informed on our current events via our UP NEXT page!
The Vintage: Co-founder Conor O’Brien, who planned Scranton SOUP, discussed the desire to revitalize the NEPA arts community including a new website at www.nepatheatre.org, which lists many of the theatre companies in the area and continues to add resources for better communication and shared information among local performing artists in the region. Also, The Vintage has formed a Resident Ensemble.
Ghostlight Productions: Co-founder Rachel Strayer prepped us on the company’s latest installment for their annual and FREE admission Shakespeare in the Park: Macbeth (click for more info!).
Actor’s Circle: Board President John McInerney shared how the Providence Playhouse is exploring new genres of material that challenge their niche audience including a recent production of John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt performed to much audience praise. The company welcomes new voices and faces!
KISS Theatre Co.: Jessica Suda updated us on KISS’ ongoing search for a new space for the beloved children’s theatre troupe. Check their journey out at SaveKISSTheatre.
Time for more soup….and theatre.