To listen in on a script reading is to take part in an intimate process for actors and writers. The average audience member will only hear a script in its final, polished stage performed by actors on the big screen. The MassIFF reading, however, gives its audience the rare chance to hear a group of actors engage the material live with one another for the first time.
This is the second year MassIFF has held a reading led by local filmmaker and writer Skip Shea. Shea selected one of 2015's screenplay submissions titled "The Old Yard" written by Rick Groleau. For a truly unique experience, Shea had the actors prepare their assigned parts for an initial read through and then had them draw different parts at random for a second raw performance of the script.
“Having the actors draw new parts creates a sense of anxiety that can actually heighten the performance,” says Shea.
Shea made sure that the actors performed the character they drew even if the role was of an opposite gender.
“It was interesting to see how the actors interpreted the roles differently.”
The winners of the Best Screenplay awards will be announced at the after party, on August 29th at Tasty Burger in Harvard Square, 8:00pm.