Free Acting Classes

Silvia Gonzalez Scherer 

People may not know that new plays must be tested in front of an audience before being considered finished and ready for a full staged production. To help a playwright along with the work, ample staged readings with a creative staff, and a creative and interested audience is advantageous for a play script to get done.

HMTC had planned a public staged reading of a new play for the anniversary of the Mussel Slough Tragedy. The play is based on this Hanford historic event that took place on May 11, 1880. The pandemic interfered with the staged reading that was planned for May 9, 2020. However, HMTC intends to do the staged reading sometime this year.

What is lovely about this particular staged reading is that the audience is encouraged to help with the creative portion of the play. In other words, if the audience has more information to add to the work, it is encouraged. This means the audience can participate in this play’s evolution.

The play is called "The Mussel Slough Chronicles – A California Tragedy." As it turns out, information on this event is sparse though there are some books attempting to explain the event from the farmers' point of view. There are books that explain the event from the railroad point of view. The government of the 1880s has a view, too. So does the judicial system of that time, which Hanford settlers said was corrupt and unfairly sided with the railroad.

We are sure there are descendants of the early Hanford settlers. There may be stories passed down that are not in books. This information is desperately wanted to bring this play to fruition.

Staged readings can and should be numerous for new plays. Especially if it is an important work. A theater company and playwright would want every word to be solid for a production.

The beauty of staged readings for actors is that lines don’t need to be memorized. The script is in hand.

If reading a script for a staged reading is something you may be interested in, do call us. We would love to have you read for us on this play and any other that may come.

If interested in this play reading, go to our website and subscribe for updates at

Silvia Gonzalez Scherer is the  Executive Artistic Director of the Hanford Multicultural Theater Company.

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