The readings at PACA will help hone the plays by providing feedback.

New and emerging playwrights who participated in a workshop at Erie's Performing Artists Collective Alliance will hold staged readings of their work at the arts center this Thursday through Saturday.

Through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and Erie Arts & Culture, local playwright and Gannon University instructor and adjunct lecturer Margo Wolfe conducted the workshop for the playwrights, who will have their work read by local actors. The readings will help the playwrights understand how to more effectively convey to future actors and directors what they intend to express through their plays.

“This is entirely consistent with the PACA mission,” said Executive Director Mark Tanenbaum. “We exist to promote local artists of all kinds.”

Wolfe added that this capstone to the course is a unique opportunity not always afforded to playwrights. “Hearing your work read by actors and getting their and the audience's feedback can greatly improve the process of finalizing the play before it is staged,” she said. “Without this step, you might find yourself stuck with set or stage elements that do not convey precisely what you had envisioned.”

Another interesting and complex aspect of this course is also about letting go of your creation. Wolfe said, “It can be very difficult to allow someone else to take over your script, but if you do not let it go, it cannot be produced. The balance is in ensuring your intended meaning is clear while giving the actors and directors on many types of stages the ability to add their own voices.”

These free, open-to-the-public staged readings of three in-progress productions developed in PACA's Playwright Program include:

• Thursday: "All in What You're Used To" by Gary McEnery is about four guys working at a ski resort gaining a better understanding of their own community, showing how perceptions of people evolve.

• Friday: “Arnot" by Julie Whan is about how we look at end of life decisions.

• Saturday: "Goals of Care" by Lisa Simonian is about a disembodied spirit that must attain a level of perfection but is thwarted by a nurse.

These plays do include some adult material. There will be a question-and-answer session following each reading and refreshments will be provided.

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