UVA Wise Scripted!


What is it?  A curated, community participation play-reading series, rather like a book club for plays. We will be reading a broad range of classics of both the western and non-westerns canons, historically significant plays from the past few centuries, along with challenging contemporary works. It's our sincere hope that you can join us on Zoom, for reading scripts out loud, or just join us to listen and discuss if you prefer. 


Who's it for?  Students, faculty, staff, community. Everyone and anyone interested in reading scripts out-loud, or anyone who just wants to join us to listen to the scripts being read. You are welcome to participate on the level you feel comfortable. You can pop in to listen or you can join us at the beginning of the session if you would like to read. We might even have guest speakers speaking to special topics.


Why are we doing this?  Scripts are meant to be performed for an audience…the current Covid-19 precautions currently prevent this from happening for the safety and well-being of us all. If we are not able to perform plays on a stage, in front of an audience, the next best thing is to READ THEM OUT LOUD together.


Reading increases our fluency, sparks new ideas, and helps us to be empathetic by putting us in the shoes of others, increases our understanding of the world around us.  It provides springboards for discussion on a variety of topics. A low-stake, non-threatening environment of reading scripts in hand via the safety of the virtual world is a good way to socialize, to combat loneliness and depression, to feel connected to our neighbors during this time of Covid-19.


How will it work?  Meetings will be via Zoom on Tuesday and Sunday evenings from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. There will be two separate virtual reading groups meeting weekly via Zoom, a web conferencing platform similar to Skype or FaceTime, used for audio and/or video conferencing. Scripts will be made available through Box, an online cloud-based storage system, which we will send a link to access beforehand by email. There is no cost; you just have to sign up for a free account with Box, and we will walk you through the steps.


The first script reading group begins Tuesday, March 16, 2021 and continues each Tuesday until April 27, 2021. The second script reading group begins Sunday, March 21, 2021 and continues Sunday evenings until the final reading on Sunday, May 2, 2021. Readings will be from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., with the Zoom room opening up at 6 p.m. for anyone who would like to come early, hang out, and have discussions concerning the plays. Participants will be assigned roles to read each session, sometimes multiple roles, and we will assign different roles each night to give everyone the opportunity to read aloud. 


You will be sent an email to sign up for specific dates that you would like to join us. Remember that the Tuesday night sessions will be reading a different play script from the Sunday night sessions. Each session will be facilitated by UVA Wise faculty, and we hope to have both community and students involved. You can sign up for as many or as few nights as you wish. The choice is yours!


There are no fees involved. All you need is stable internet connection and a computer, iPad, smartphone, or any device that allows you to Zoom and access the scripts on Box.

The play read during Tuesday sessions will be different from the play being read during Sunday sessions. This way you have the opportunity to read multiple plays during a week! This is meant to be fun, so you do not have to commit to every session, nor are you expected to read every session. You let us know when you can participate and if you want to read on a specific session. Wait, you say you would like to just pop in a little late to listen to what’s going on? That’s okay too! If you can give us a heads-up we will watch for you and let you in the session, but even if you can’t, just come on in and we will admit you as soon as we can.


Scripts will be gathered and made available for you on Box. At the top of each meeting assignments will be made by an assigned “stage manager” as to who will read what role and for how many pages or scenes. Readers will be assigned roles regardless of race or gender. Multiple roles may be assigned per reader as needed.  (and yes, sometimes you are talking to yourself, and answering yourself as someone else…and yes, sometimes if it gets too confusing, we will re-assign that part if only for a few pages).

How do I join? If you are interested in joining the script reads or would like more information, email Ben Mays, Department Chair, Visual and Performing Arts at UVA Wise: bm8q@uvawise.edu.