Stages of Development


This month, as part of its Staged Reading Series, California Stage presents “’Tween Earth and Sky,” Celtic folktales by Mark Lyon. Artistic Director Ray Tatar calls California Stage a “developmental theater,” and says staged readings are part of a spectrum that also includes “semiproductions” and complete productions.

We caught up with Tatar and Megan Cooper, director of “Man Flies,” by Kenneth Heaton, which was recently read by local actors in front of an audience as part of the series, for details.

Why staged readings?
“We develop plays and artists. That’s one of our given purposes. This is a safe place to make mistakes and develop. We’re providing opportunities,” says Tatar.

What happens at a reading?
“A reading is about getting the text across, not so much a theatrical performance. There’s no set. We’re working with pace and timing. The actors stand and walk. We’re figuring out what needs to be done with a play,” says Cooper.

What is a “semiproduction”?
“It’s a fairly loose term meaning a play reading that might be costumed but maybe not have blocking, or it may be costumed and blocked without a set,” says Tatar.

You can catch the reading of “’Tween Earth and Sky” March 17–19 at the R25 Arts Complex in Midtown, 2509 R St. Tickets are $5.

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