PLAY CAFE TABLE READS: a full-length play development opportunity

Play Cafe is pleased to offer a fresh opportunity for new play development to members: Play Cafe Table Reads. Table Reads are just that–cold, unrehearsed table readings for full length plays and musicals in progress. Plays may be up to 120 pages long (standard play format, 12 point font) with four actors and a professional dramaturg supplied by Play Cafe. The reading is followed by a discussion/feedback period facilitated by the dramaturg.

Musical librettos may be submitted, but the music element will not be addressed. If a musical libretto is selected, the book and lyrics will be read (not sung) by the actors without music or other recordings.

Admission is free, and the room capacity is about 20. The readings are invite-only and not otherwise publicized. Selected playwrights are responsible for providing scripts for all actors, the dramaturg, and the stage directions reader, and are encouraged to provide snacks and beverages for the cast and dramaturg. If the member playwright needs more than four actors–such as adding someone to read stage directions–they must provide and pay them out of pocket. Play Cafe pays each actor $30.  Playwrights may double-cast the four actors, and may utilize invitees to read extra parts or stage directions. In order to maximize this opportunity, playwrights are encouraged to make the most of the four professional actors’ services by giving them major parts.

Since participating actors may be in Equity, readings may not be recorded on audio or video.

The next Table Read is Thursday, June 5  from 7PM-10PM at Language Studies International in Berkeley, and the dramaturg is Allison Bergman.  Should the selected playwright wish to work further with her, they are welcome to make independent private arrangements to do so.

Only Play Cafe members in good standing, Play Cafe Board Members and Musical Cafe Steering Committee members may submit. To become a member Play Cafe visit our membership page.
To verify membership, write to


DEADLINE for June 5 Table Read is 11:59PM, Thursday, May 18, 2017.

Plays must be emailed to

Format requirements are as follows:

  • No more than 120 pages worth of material
  • Standard script format, 12 pt font
  • Include a cover page with the title of the play, author’s name, email address, snail-mail address and and phone number
  • Please do not put your name on any page other than the cover page
  • Script file must be attached to your email as a PDF
  • Play title and page numbers must be included on every page
  • Plays may have had one staged/developmental reading and revised but may not have been fully produced or published

Selected playwright will be notified Thursday, Sunday May 25. Send any input on actor selection (only if selected!) to


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