Guidelines for New Play Workshops  Virtual 2020

Contact act@acttheatre.com for more information.

Step #1: Choose a date for the workshop.

  • This will allow the director to recruit a cast.
  • However, we won’t advertise the workshop until all requirements are met.

Step #2: Meet all of the requirements

  • A completed script must be given to Willow McLaughlin. (A portion of this script must have been presented at a Page to Stage workshop.)
  • The director must have a complete cast.
  • A minimum of two rehearsals must be scheduled. If actors are not in the same household, these rehearsals should all take place on Zoom.
  • Once these requirements are met, Willow will put your finalized date on the calendar, create an ad/poster and advertise on ACT sites and Facebook.

Step #4: Workshop Planning/ Guidelines

  • The workshop is script in hand, but actors should be familiar with the script, so they can fully act out the characters.
  • It is possible to do entrances and exits via Zoom by either leaving the screen or turning off video. This will help the audience follow what is going on, so it’s recommended.
  • The goal is to put the focus on the words and not the performance quality, so all technical requirements should be minimal. It’s not recommended that digital special effects, music or sound effects be attempted via Zoom. Keep it simple.
  • Props and scripts can be difficult to deal with via Zoom. However, the writer may read out descriptions of the set when necessary and any stage directions that are not able to be indicated during the performance. Example: “Lights up”, “A fire alarm goes off”, “Bob carries in a giant, steaming turkey on a platter.”

Step #4: Workshop Night

  • A host that is not the writer or director will run the evening. They introduce everyone and lead the discussion at the end.
  • Another person, this can be a member of the cast or a volunteer, will monitor the chat room during discussion.
  • Audience members will be encouraged to take notes or leave questions or comments (for the playwright) in the chat.
  • If this is a two act play, we will take a short break in the middle so actors/audience can get a drink or use the restroom.
  • At the end of the presentation, discussion will begin. This will be led by the workshop host with a focus on constructive feedback about the writing. A set of basic questions is used to lead the discussion. The writer is not allowed to comment on or defend any of the writing during the discussion portion of the evening. Anyone who wishes to discuss things with the writer is encouraged to stay after the discussion.
  • Audience members who don’t wish to stay are encouraged to email their notes to act@acttheatre.com, where they will be compiled and sent anonymously to the writer.
  • At least ten people must attend the workshop, for the play to qualify for production through ACT.