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The Cruel Continuous Cycle of Male/Female Relationships in Six Scenes

That my friends, is the title of the play I had the opportunity to work on -as a stage reading.

It’s a play written by my friend, and talented Playwright/Director, Jeffrey Lo. The reading is part of the San Jose Rep Emerging Artist Lab (SJREAL for sure), of which its manifesto gives us room to put such a fun piece on (but certainly not limited to).

Off the bat, I can say that this was one of the neatest experiences doing a stage reading. The text really just flies at you –the dialogue is believable, sharp with just enough wit to keep an actor on his (or her) toes.

It’s a 45 min, one act play which we spent a total of two days rehearsing for. The days spent rehearsing are easily one of the best days of my year. Yes, I did the Red Carpet World Premiere of a feature film at a legit Film Festival. Yes, I went to LA for a few days for similar reasons

Yes, one of those teeny people on stage is me!

–but rehearsal, that is where the magic is. Being in a room with other artists, shaping a piece and exploring characters. Creating something out of nothing. I LOVE IT.

Male/Female Relationship…photo courtesy of Jeffrey Lo

While it remained strictly an on-book reading, I felt the characters were intuitive enough to really just play with -I was cast as Nilo, one half of the male/female equation.

Meep…photo courtesy of Jeffrey Lo

Opposite of me was Sara Luna, super sweet (and daringly funny) and talented! Rounding off the cast was David Scott as the off-the-wall Documentarian and Vera Sloan Canton as the female friend; Akemi Okamura read stage directions and to top it off, Cara Phipps worked her Directorial magic on the text.

Last night’s turn out was fantastic! It was a packed house. Our reading took place immediately after the San Jose Rep’s main stage production of The Understudy, in what is the now patron lounge-turned-small-stage.

Sardines! photo courtesy of Jeffrey Lo

I ducked out of view before the show and got into some stretches. I still don’t feel confident tackling any performance without some “traditions”. I make sure to horse-lip it up an hour before showtime, and stretch my limbs before going up. It’s really the only way to channel those nervous butterflies into something useful; It is for me, anyway.

The usual suspects…heh. photo courtesy of Jeffrey Lo

I felt the audience had a great time. Emphasis on felt –standing up there, reading with everyone, I could literally feed off of the audience. The space was intimate so, every giggle, laugh, moment of silence was just fuel. And boy did we engine through the 45 mins.

I wish I could say more about the play without giving it away. But I guess that’s why you’ll just have to come to the fully mounted production…you know, when that’s ready to be unleashed on the World. It’ll happen, oh it’ll happen.

For more information on SJREAL, please visit:

Have you had an opportunity to experience a stage reading? If so, what were your thoughts? Did you have a good time? I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to use the comment box below, or shoot me a tweet: Follow @tasialabastro

And you can follow our Playwright, Jeffrey Lo: Follow @theycallmejlo

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