Last Saturday my spouse and I attended an invited guest staged reading of a play in development, “Rites of Passage”.  The authors, Ed Decker and spouse Robert Leone, are in the process of finding out how audiences react to a play for which they have been assembling notes for the past three years, and which they plan to release on stage in 2012.

 A reading is very different from an actual play in that the actors are looking at their notebooks and describing what will be shown on the screen or played while the action is taking place.  The action still takes place on a well lit stage and actors often dress in similar outfits.  This particular play’s theme is the struggle for human rights for LGBT people worldwide.   It was interesting to hear the reaction of other audience members regarding what they did and didn’t like about the play, and we felt that the 2 ½ hours in the theater was time well spent. 

If you have ever wanted to write a play or a movie script, there are materials available in the Alameda County Library collection that will be a great help.  Some suggestions are:

The art of writing drama / Michelene Wandor

London : Methuen Drama, 2008     808.2 WANDOR

The complete book of scriptwriting / J. Michael Straczynski

Cincinnati, Ohio : Writer’s Digest Books, c1996      808.2 STRACZYNSKI


The crafty art of playmaking / Alan Ayckbourn

New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2003, c2002     792 AYCKBOURN

The playwright’s guidebook / Stuart Spencer

New York : Faber and Faber, Inc., c2002       808.2 SPENCER

Playwriting for theater, film, and television / Laura Shamas

White Hall, Va. : Betterway Publications, c1991        808.2 SHAMAS

Stage writing / Val Taylor

Wiltshire : Crowood Press, c2002      808.2 TAYLOR

The art of screenwriting : story, script, markets / William Packard

New York : Paragon House, c1987     808.23 PACKARD   

The complete idiot’s guide to screenwriting / by Skip Press

Indianapolis, IN : Alpha Books, c2001       808.23 PRESS

How to write a selling screenplay : a step-by-step approach to developing your story and writing your screenplay by one of today’s most successful screenwriters and teachers / Christopher Keane

New York : Broadway Books, c1998       808.23 KEANE

The insider’s guide to writing for screen and television / Ronald B. Tobias

Cincinnati, Ohio : Writer’s Digest Books, c1997         808.23 TOBIAS

Produce your play without a producer : a survival guide for actors and playwrights who need a production / Mark Hillenbrand

Hanover, NH : Smith and Kraus, 2001       792.0232 HILLENBRAND