EXPLORING FEMALE WRITERS: THE MONO BOX PLAY READING GROUP

Since graduating from Drama School I’d been searching for a play reading group in London... but surprisingly couldn’t find one aimed specifically at professional actors.

For me sight reading’s such a vital skill. As someone who was diagnosed with dyslexia at school, cold reading terrified me and really affected my confidence when it came to approaching a script. After a lot of practise, however, it’s become one of the skills I feel most comfortable with. I now find performing a script cold really helps build confidence in instinctive choices, and aligns you with the playwright and world of the play.

So... I decided to approach a number of theatre organisations to ask if they could offer studio space for a reading group for professional practitioners. The Mono Box graciously got back, not only offering the group a home, but providing guidance, mentorship, publicity, admin support and the plays for the group participants!

After discussion with Polly and Joan, we decided it would be great if the group was not only a chance to practise sight reading, but could also be an exploration of lesser known plays and writers as well as an opportunity to explore how we can progress as practitioners.

The group kicked off in February, the theme: Female Playwrights provoked many insights and much debate... It was so fun hosting the group, and as it’s peer led I could join in with the readings too!

Surprisingly, all the initial participants were female! Though there was immediately a great dynamic, we did wonder why the exploration of female playwrights only attracted women... it would have been good to have a ‘male perspective’ during the discussion and we’re hoping some guys will sign up for April...!

We all agreed that the group is a terrific opportunity, and think it’s important that it continues and evolves. We’re hoping to begin to include talks and collaborations with writers and also rehearsed readings with the potentiality for productions.