Up and Coming

June / July 2018


So What Did People Think About

The Dramatic Reading of

Wounded  Angels

at Seven Angels Theatre?
Over 150 people came out to hear the dramatic reading of the new  play. The end of the performance was met with a standing ovation. In addition to the feedback we received immediately following the performance, I sent a survey out asking those who attended the performance for their candid feedback and was thrilled with the response. Below is a summary of the feedback I received along with my thoughts on the resulting re-writing. Now it's time for me to get busy on revising the play and finishing the book. 
Answers to Questions about the Dramatic Reading of Wounded Angels and Thoughts about Revisions
1. How about the story itself? Did it keep you engaged? Could you relate to it? Did I belabor anything too much? Was there anything missing?
I liked the story, I loved Doris character, I know you said you upped!! her personality. You did a great job with that. I related to your mother in-law emptiness. Yes, very difficult place to be.
Yes, yes, yes, no, no
Yes, it kept me completely engaged and caring about what was happening.
Great, Yes, Yes, No, No
We were engaged. Yes, we could relate. Nothing seemed to be missing.
I stayed with the plot all the way through and there was nothing missing.  It was so good for you to talk to us afterwards and explain your thoughts as you put it together.  That tied together nicely your thoughts and how it was played out.
Thought the first act was more monotone... I would have liked something more punchy here to go with the flow of the second act. The second act's humor grabbed us into the heart of the characters and pulled the threads of the story together.
Very much so – from the opening scene to the last scene. I think anyone – especially one on in years – understands that losing a spouse, especially after a long and happy marriage, can create the kind of trauma facing the lead character. I don’t think anything was belabored too much. Anything missing is a very hard question to answer after a single viewing.
Combined with other comments later on, the main thrust for my revisions will be focused on the first act. In particular, I’ll want to provide Maureen with a wider array of emotions and will emphasize Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s five stages of death and dying (Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance) more in the structure.
2. What did you think about the tone and pace of the play? Were there parts that you especially enjoyed? Were there parts that dragged, lacked emotion or felt overdone?
There where many parts that I enjoyed, I liked that you received from the audience a mix of emotions. I feel that in itself is wonderful.
The first act could use more emotional variety. The depression comes across, but other emotions are not as developed. Also consider injecting a little more humor in the first scene between Maureen and Doris.
Tone and pace were fine. Perfectly done.
I would have liked to see more of a 'connection' between the two women, really coming to care for each other.
Tone was awesome, pace super, loved the humor amidst the serious emotions.
I am not remembering if there was a particular place, in the first half. The women to the left of me was falling asleep and at the break a few women {seniors] friends of a client of mine expressed it dragged. Complained it was too long or wished it started earlier. I felt it was a bit slow moving the first half, but I must share I don't sit still very well and I am sure I would feel different when the scenes changed on stage.
I think the tone and pace was good.  I got so into it that I could understand how it would be in a final presentation.  I became engrossed in the part played by the main character.
Maybe work on the first waitress a bit. Doris seemed obsessive about the food, didn't realize the waitress poked her in some way. Second act let us know something about Doris's character gets resolved with her daughter.
The pace and tone kept my attention and from what I witnessed around me, it kept the attention of the audience. I particularly liked the back and forth dialogue between the two major characters. No noticeable parts that dragged, lacked emotion or felt overdone.
The big reveal at the end of the first act took me by complete surprise. It put everything together and explained a lot about Doris’s behavior.
The only part I thought was a little long was the first scene?  It just seemed more should have happened quicker.
Enjoyed the entire play.
Obviously, I will concentrate on enhancing the first act and the first scene in particular, as it sets the pace for the rest of the play. I like the idea of injecting humor right off and will look to see where the dialogue between Maureen and Doris can be edited to make it quicker and more engaging. In particular, I might move some of the exposition of Doris’s background to later in the play.
3. How did you feel about the characters? Were they fully developed enough? Were they interesting and realistic enough? Were their words and actions consistent with who they were?
Characters were great, Narrator nice job. The man that sat to the left of the narrator had a small part [that he did very well] but wished his part a bit bigger. But of course with then just sitting in a line makes that more noticeable. In a full production I am thinking it would not be the case.
Larry’s character needed more development to explain Maureen’s feelings for him. The two scenes with Maureen’s daughter seemed similar. In both scenes, the daughter comes across as more abrupt. In the first scene, would expect more sympathy.
I especially enjoyed the role of Charlotte since I knew her and it was like she was there.
The only part that I thought was inconsistent with the tone of the play was the, and this is probably just my feeling, overly descriptive talk about how good the almost-ex husband was in bed.
Yes to all
Yes. Larry wasn’t developed as much as the other characters. We felt like we wanted to know him more.
I was impressed that right before intermission Doris was so taken by the emotion that she actually cried!!!!
I realize the mother character was more laidback.
Could have used a little more information about Frank, Maureen’s first husband, to explain more why she was so devastated by his death.
Wondered if replacing Maureen’s monologues with acted scenes might work better.
If there is anything that I would suggest you address it would be the daughter’s interaction with her mother. 
Just a thought from an ordinary person viewing your play reading.  The character Larry was a surprise for us.   We were thinking it would be nice if his character was developed just a little more like Clem’s character was developed.  When Larry reappears, we said to ourselves where did this guy come from and who’s Larry.
I didn’t like your character development of Larry. There is none. We first get to know him in the eighth inning of the play. In my humble opinion you needed to go much further.
Despite their relatively short relationship, Maureen and Doris have a rich, multi-layered togetherness. These characters are fully developed. But, I found that I would like to know more of Larry. He seems to offer another avenue for depth in your wonderful play.
Maureen’s monologues worked well when they provided new information that was not contained in the scenes. Maybe one less?
Yes……. Yes………. and Yes
From personal discussions with people about Maureen’s monologues, they seemed to work and contributed well to the flow of the play, so they will most likely stay. I will look at them with an eye to eliminating any redundant information and keeping their number to the absolute minimum needed. Regarding characters, I will plan to add additional information about Frank, add more lines and information about Larry, take a closer look at the scene between Doris and the first waitress, and will adjust the dialogues between Bridget and Maureen to show a greater contrast between their first and second conversation.
4. How about the settings? Were the times and places appropriate? Did any scenes seem repetitious, too long or unnecessary?
I think so but not remembering the places.
Setting was fine and not very important to me.
Perhaps drop references to specific place names since audience members from other locations will not relate to them and being more generic will allow people to relate them to places that they are more familiar with.
If you were trying to cut back on the length of the play, which doesn’t seem necessary, you might be able to shorten some of the dialogue between mother and daughter.
All fine
All great!
I think the settings were good, it was all well-timed, and appropriate.
I didn’t expect much with the settings because it was a reading. Knowing afterward that some of the pics came from family albums was helpful, poignant to the story.
This is hard to comment upon from a single pass.
Times and places appropriate.
The idea of dropping the specific place names is one for which I will need to give more thought. I enjoyed listening to the audience reactions when they recognized a named place, like West Farms Mall. While I agree with the opportunity of audience members being able to relate to their own experiences more with generic locations, the local color provided by a specific locale may also enhance the experience. More on that to come.
5. Based upon other dramatic plays you have seen, on a scale of 1 to 5, how would you rate this play by comparison?
  1 = Much poorer,        2 = Poorer,        3 = About average,        4 = Better,        5 = Much better.
About average
I love dramas and have seen quite a few over the last few years in NY and I would rate this play as Better.
About average, because, at this point, one was aware that it wasn’t a final version.
For me each play and even within a given play, each cast, is different and so I don’t know how anyone can compare one with another.
Based on some other dramatic plays I have seen, I would give it a 5, much better
Not much to say about this question. I would have done better asking something open ended which would have yielded more information. Given that over 150 attended the reading and gave a standing ovation at the end, it seems safe to assume that, in general, people were satisfied with the performance.
6. If Wounded Angels were to be developed into a full main stage production, how likely would you be to attend?
  1 = Very unlikely,          2 = Unlikely,          3 = Possibly,          4 = Likely,          5 = Very likely
Very Likely
Wouldn’t miss it!
My friends and I would definitely come to a full stage play.
I would go because my friend wrote it!  I would also want to see how – if at all – it was changed.
5 – I would very likely attend a play
Since all of the responses to this question were at the top of the scale and others who missed the performance wrote to ask about attending other offerings, I feel fairly confident in the results. It does appear that I would have somewhat of a built-in audience for the full production.
7. Please add any additional comments you would like to make.
I want to share with you what an amazing job, I admire and respect all the dedication and hard work you put into this play. I am so proud of you. I wish you major success.
For us it was a very healing experience.
Very impressed, can’t wait for the book.
I was very impressed with the talent and credentials of all those who performed.  They were all impressive and well-placed in their roles. You have come up with a good play which I feel will be enjoyed by anyone attending the final presentation. 
As a fellow writer, I find your work inspiring and stimulating. What a process to see your work of art revealed in a way. We take thoughts and ideas from our imagination, from a snippet of conversation, from memories, synchronicities and somehow bring them into our own unique form. Wounded Angels is a great testimony to the complexity of the human spirit. Healing, working through grief, happen but not always how we intend or expect. It’s the unexpected intersections that bring color, humor, and even peace that pokes us and thereby takes us by surprise.
You are a gifted writer and it shows in the tender and sensitive way you coaxed the pain from the lead characters and allowed them to deal with that pain with class and dignity.
Will you do any other reading? I could bring my group, the sooner the better
The slides, the narrator, and the props (teddy bear) really helped give the story depth.   We enjoyed everyone’s performance. The question and answer period was just the right length..........a bonus to hear directly from Charlotte’s daughters, and the reception was an added delight.  Thank you for sending us an announcement of the reading of your work.
Best of luck with the process and your work. We, the book club from Portland, hope to be able to see your work again as a finished play.
You are right, humor is difficult, but you did it! Let me know when the full play is produced.
Your play was thoughtful and beautifully crafted.  
We just wanted to tell you that we loved “Wounded Angels” and very much look forward to reading the book when it comes out.   I also was pleased with your mention of Henri Nouwen and wish I could recall exactly how you said it, as I thought it was a good way to sum up his thinking as well as its connection to the play.
“Wounded Angels” is a reading I really enjoyed.
Conversations while playing bridge has been very positive from the ladies that attended.
My wife had to coax me into coming. A play might have been OK, but the thought of a reading sounded boring, but it kept my attention from start to finish and I really enjoyed it!
That’s what I’ve accumulated thus far from the feedback I’ve received. I thank everyone who attended the reading and want to especially thank all those who made the time to provide specific comments on the presentation. It will be enormously helpful in my re-writes.
Here are the next steps:
  • Feeback. Done
  • Re-writing:  Now.
  • Pitching to Theaters: I have already begun to identify theaters that my be interested in producing it. Wherever the play is selected for production, it will most likely undergo further revision based upon discussions with the directors and producers.
  • Scheduling and Producing the Play:  Theaters are busy scheduling their lineups for next year's season now and it will be unrealistic to get the play produced that soon. I do believe it is realistic to get a full production by the following season, however, so that will be my end goal and I will keep you posted. 
  • Finishing the Novel: Wounded Angels is based upon a much more extensive novel by the same name. I will be working on that project at the same time as I pursue the play production. It may actually be possible to finish the novel before the play, but, at the least, my hope is that when you see the play, you can meet me in the lobby afterwards where I can sign a first-edition copy of the novel for you. 
And A Wonderful Night at the Palace Theater!

I was thrilled to be one of the presenters at the 16th Annual Halo Awards ceremony on May 30 at the Palace Theater in Waterbury. The Halo Awards recognize outstanding achievements in high school theatrical productions. What an amazing evening. The excitement and enthusiasm of all of the students involved was incredible an the evening was filled with amazing performances by many of the schools. Congratulations to Semina DeLaurentis and Seven Angels Theatre for putting on a "Class Act."

That's All For Now and Thank You, 


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AuthorChuckMiceli · 22 Maple Lane · Wolcott, Connecticut 06716 · USA

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