Reader Guidelines

The purpose of the reader’s evaluation is to provide feedback to the playwright and provide a selection of plays suitable for public readings during the regular season.

Script Ratings

    A script with strong potential, developed to the point that the playwright would benefit from hearing the reading and the following discussion.
    A script with strong potential, but with significant problems that need to be addressed before the playwright will benefit from a reading. Comments should point out both the strong points and the points that need work.
    A script that may not be a play, or needs much more attention from the playwright before the reader can assess the script’s potential. Comments should constructively indicate what the playwright needs to address.

Evaluation Questions

  1. Is the dialogue appropriate?
    It should be character-specific, consistent, and reflect the character’s thoughts, feelings, unique qualities, and life experiences.
  2. Is the dialogue under/over written?
    It should be character-specific, consistent, and reflect the character’s thoughts, feelings, unique qualities, and life experiences.
  3. Do you find the characters interesting?
    Do you care about these characters? Do you want to know what they’ll do next? In some plays it may be appropriate for characters to be caricatures or less than three dimensional (e.g. a farce).
  4. Are the characters’ motivations clear?
    Is it clear why the characters do what they do? Motivation is particularly important when applied to the major conflicts within the play.
  5. Are the characters well developed?
    Principal characters should be well-developed individuals with strong emotions, unique attributes, goals, desires, etc. There should be a discernible arc as the play progresses toward resolution.
  6. Is the plot well developed?
    In simple terms, a beginning (introduce characters and major conflict), a middle (action/obstacles), and an ending (resolution).
  7. Is the plot logical or appropriate?
    Do events occur logically or reasonably given the world of the play? That is, does the plot fit within the boundaries of your suspension of disbelief?
  8. Does the plot constantly move forward?
    Even if the play’s time structure is non-linear (e.g. flashbacks, etc.), the plot must move forward.
  9. Is the ending appropriate?
    Is the resolution logical within the play’s context, or does it employ an unforeshadowed, unanticipated miraculous event or character transformation?
  10. Does the play hold your interest?
    Purely subjective. What may be of interest to you may not necessarily interest someone else. In either case, it is helpful for the playwright to understand the rationale behind your response. Also, a play should not be rejected merely because you feel it lacks interest. This decision should be made by the individual theaters.

Comments Section

  • Try to be as positive as possible with your comments. Keep criticism tactful and constructive, and balance with encouragement.
  • For the playwrights who do not receive a public reading, the critique is the only feedback they will receive.
  • Be objective. Critique the play, not the playwright. Many of the playwrights are writing their first play; some are high school students who may improve tremendously with proper encouragement.