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Towne Street Theatre Presents Another Successful Installment of the Reading Series

Towne Street Theatre's Reading Series continues to be a blast for audience members and the playwrights alike. In the last blog I explained how a Towne Street staged reading typically goes. Basically, a play is read by actors on stage so that the playwright can get a better understanding of what is working and what is not. Towne Street staged readings are informative for the playwright and very entertaining for the audience. The talk back after the performance gives the audience the opportunity to ask the writers, actors and directors any questions they might have–bringing them into the creative process. Usually, questions from the audience help a playwright understand what viewers are taking away from the play.

I really want to stress how talented the directors and actors are. After only a few rehearsals and one run through, they were able to bring these plays to life. Actors and directors really have to push themselves because there are only one or two rehearsals on zoom followed by a quick run through on stage to work out any blocking and to make quick adjustments. As a writer, this experience is invaluable. Listening to the play and watching how the characters interact on stage lets us know how our words actually sound when acted out. Listening to the audience gives us even better insight into what people will take away after watching a play live.

The three plays read on April 27th were:

Six people are seated in folding chairs on a black stage during a talk back after a staged reading of a play.
Left to right: Shanelle Darlene, Esmeralda Vásquez, Jonathan Garcia, Kira Hoag, Jacqueline Castañeda, and Nancy Cheryll Davis.

The Grudge written and directed by Jacqueline Castañeda:

When Karina and Nora turn the tables on cheater Michael, Jacqueline Castaneda rewrites the rules of the revenge in her coming of age comedy "The Grudge." The Real Housewives couldn't have done any better.

Three women and one man sit on a black stage and read a play aloud to the audience.
Actors left to right: Marian Yesufu, Justeen Butler, LaDonna Watts and Sherrick O'Quinn.

Tina Goes on a Date written by Veronica McClelland and directed by Kiziana Jean-Louis:

In "Tina Goes on a Date," Veronica McClelland explores mental illness with so much heart, truth and compassion that when Tina finally walks out the door past her anxiety and depression, you'll cheer for her.

The cast of AI Stein sit and stand on a black stage with the director and writer of the play.
Cast of AI Stein (left to right: RJ Wayne, Indi Ebo, Justin Gubersky, Valaira Sa-Ra and RCB) with writer Sonia Jackson and director Nancy Cheryll Davis.

AI Stein written by Sonia Jackson and directed by Nancy Cheryll Davis:

A budget smart home system tries to take over the Clark home in "A.I.-Stein." Surprise! There's only one mama allowed in the Clark household. Sonia Jackson's play tells truths about A.I. in this timely comedy.

Save the date for June 22nd for our next installment of the Reading Series. We will be exploring the intersectionality of the African American and LGBTQIA+ communities as we celebrate Pride month and Juneteenth.




Meet Veronica McClelland, who started at TST at age five helping stuff and stamp envelopes. She's come a long way since then and has served in various capacities at TST over the years, including Camp Intern and Administrative Assistant. Veronica graduated from UCLA in June 2022 with a BA in English and a minor in Writing. We're lucky to have her contribute her talents to the TST Blog.

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