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Photo credit: Don Nguyen and Bonna Tek

A reading of my new play RED FLAMBOYANT for the Immigrant Voices Project at Queens Theater in the Park. Directed by Joanna Settle.

I had a reading of Red Flamboyant last Saturday at Queens Theater in the Park as part of their Immigrant Voices project. It was really great to hear it in front of an audience, and I learned a great deal about my play. I knew going into it, that the Queens Theater audience would be full of non-industry, traditional theater going folks (most of them older) and their comments would be pretty candid.

I wanted to share some of the highlights from the reading:

Five minutes into it, two elderly ladies who were sitting in the front row, walked out. On their way out they asked an usher for their cookie. (Coffee and cookies are served after each reading at QTIP)

During Tranh’s monologue (the farmer who donates blood), Tranh has this line “What’s that called when you give your blood to someone else?” Several people responded back “A transfusion” That was great. They were clearly paying attention.

It was also great to feel when the audience was getting restless. One older lady was more obvious about it than others, as she held her watch up, sighed, and made a frowny face.

At the opening of act two, where we have that flashback scene with all the women in it, one lady in the audience said to herself “I thought they were dead?”

During the talkback, one person said he felt there were two plays going on, and if I ever thought about writing just two seperate plays? My one word response to him was “no”

I think my favorite question from the talkback was “What’s a red flamboyant?”

Really? Hmm….I guess I wasn’t clear enough. So, for my next draft, I’m going to start the play off with an actor dressed up in red flower petals, speaking directly to the audience (just for Christina):

“Ladies and gentlemen, behold! I am a red flamboyant. People will be searching for me throughout the play. Also, please turn off all cell phones and pagers. Thank you.”

All kidding aside, I do love the QTP audience because of their candor and it was truly helpful to bring it to them and gauge their responses. A big thanks to Rob Urbinati for giving me the opportunity to share my play at QTP.

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