Discussion Topics


Discussion Following a Play Reading

We want your feedback! After the play has been read, the moderator will review the ground rules:

> Raise your hand and wait to be recognized

> Do not interrupt another speaker

​> The playwright cannot answer direct questions

> All comments must be made in a professional, courteous manner

During the discussion, the playwrights do not speak. Instead, they are encouraged to listen to all comments without trying to answer questions or defend the script. While that can be difficult, experience has proven that this is the most effective way to hear all points of view. (Besides, we give the author the last word!)

The moderator will follow this discussion outline:
  1. Off the top of your head, a few words about your immediate reaction ("Touching," "Interesting characters," "Slow dialogue").

  2. Are the characters clearly defined and developed? Is there effective contrast? Who was your favorite character? Why or why not?

  3. Conflict is the basic building block of drama. Does the conflict in this script grow logically out of the characters? Is it forced? Is it believable or not?  Has the author fully explored this conflict?

  4. Is the dialogue and use of language effective? Is it realistic or believable? Does the author use trite words or phrases?

  5. Considering all these elements – character, dialogue, conflict – what do you think is the author’s theme or premise? Is it effectively developed?

  6. What about dramatic effect? Is the denouement believable, effective? Does the script hold your interest?

  7. Do you see any staging or production problems such as too many sets or characters?

  8. Is the script marketable as it is? What specific work does it need to make it ready for production?

At the end, we turn it over to the author for a few brief comments - what made them write the script? Perhaps a quick response to a question that came up during the discussion.

Make your opinion count!

Offer your feedback to help San Diego playwrights.

Forms for written feedback are available for those who prefer not to speak during the discussion.