by Samantha Baird, Dramaturg
Before a show can be fully produced there are a couple more steps to production that a playwright may want to take. These steps allow the playwright to see their work performed in different stages so that they can make any desired changes before having a fully mounted show produced. The three most basic steps are a public reading, a workshop production, and a fully mounted show. Rump: The Musical, is in its workshop stage for this production.
A concert reading is when the cast of the show simply reads from the script on stage adding vocal acting and intonations, but not moving around the stage. Usually, chairs and music stands will be present for the actors on stage. In a concert reading, there are no costumes, no lighting or sound effects, no set, and no props. The rehearsal process for a staged reading is minimal: days, or maybe a couple of weeks. The point of a concert reading is to just hear the words spoken on stage.
A workshop production is only slightly more involved than a concert reading. Similar to a concert reading there are no costumes, no lighting or sound effects, and no set. There may be, however, a few props to help tell the story. A workshop production allows the playwright to see the dramatic action on stage and how action takes place. A workshop rehearsal process can be anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month or two depending on the size of the show. This is what you can expect to see at Rump: The Musical.
Finally, a fully mounted show is what most (if not all) people think of when they think of going to see a play or musical. In a fully mounted show, there are hair/makeup and costume designs, full lighting and sound effects, a set or backdrop designed for the specific needs of the show, and as many props as seen necessary by the script and the director. At this point, the playwright feels comfortable that their script is ready to be a full show and a producer has agreed. This rehearsal process can be a few months to a few years depending on if it is being produced at a community theatre level or a professional theatre on Broadway or the West End. Seeing their show fully produced is usually a goal for playwrights. Who knows what’s next for Rump: The Musical? We’ll just have to wait and see.