New Jersey Stage 2017: Issue 6 - Page 109

very hard to get. I’ll learn so much from having three pro- ductions at three theatres and by being in conversation with three different communities. I’ll know the play and its impact far better after that.” Prior to this stage, Halftime with Don had about eight staged readings, including one with Premiere Stages in Union, NJ. Weitzman says the play has changed immensely from the first draft to this World Premiere and the various readings were instrumental in the process. “Having 10-20 hours in a room with good actors, directors, and dramaturgs and then reading the play in front of an audience is invaluable,” explained the playwright. “By the start of this rehearsal process the play was already in good shape.” This play marks Weitzman’s first time working with NJ Rep and NJ STAGE 2017 - Vol. 4 No. 6 it’s been a very good experience. He says he gets very involved with the premieres of his plays, playing a role in everything from casting to rehearsals - even mak- ing revisions in the rehearsal stage to tailor the work to the ac- tors and the theatre space. “Gabe and SuzAnne who run the theatre, are devoted to new plays,” said Weitzman. “The two of them are invested in the play in such a pure way; they want it to have a long life and have many productions after this one. I’m also very impressed with the way they’ve cultivated an audience that is wonderfully en- gaged, excited, and supportive of new work. Overall they’ve created a supportive, generous home for playwrights, theatre artists, and audiences. I’m very fond of them and feel lucky to be working with them.” w INDEX NEXT ARTICLE 109