Skip to content

How To Be A Bookish Actor In Under 24 Hours

May 16, 2013

Hey New Yorkers! Have the day off?

Grab your reading glasses because here’s a challenge for ya!

As theatre artists, we should (and I think we want) to be as well-read as possible when it comes to scripts.  It keeps a constant flow of new audition material coming our way, plants ideas for scenes we’d like to work on in scene study class, and as professionals, it is just completely necessary.

So here’s my bookish challenge: How many plays can you cram in one day?

The following NYC locations are all within walking distance of one another.  Also, this challenge is complete with perks!


The New Dramatists
424 West 44th St. (Btwn. 9th and 10th Aves)

This is a haven for playwrights.  You know all those New Dramatists plays you have in your library at home?  The ones by Adam Rapp, Lucy Thurber, Adam Bock, Madeleine George etc. etc?  A lot of them wrote those while in residency at The New Dramatists.  The room where you’ll do your reading today is filled with three-ringed binders of  drafts of their scripts in their final stages.  The other rooms are spaces for readings, the main office, and some private rooms for the current playwrights in residence.  It’s a quaint little place and looks like a church.  Besides, you never know who’s gonna be there…


– free coffee

– potential connections and opportunities

– tons of free reading


Drama Book Shop
250 West 40th St (Btwn 7th and 8th Aves)

This is a must-know kind of place.  It’s your typical book store, except every book is either a script or a theatre/film/tv/acting guidance book.  The great thing about this spot is that they don’t care if you read for hours and don’t buy anything.  There are even chairs all over the place for that exact purpose – not like Barnes and Noble who has intentionally ditched seating so that you can’t hang around, reading.  The Drama Book Shop totally gets it.


– super knowledgeable guy at info desk.  Ask him for monologue suggestions. He’s a god and knows everything.

– cute dog walking around

– rewards card and free events


New York Library of The Performing Arts
40 Lincoln Center Plaza

This place is fillllllleeddd with plays too.  And much, much more.  Also, if you need a quiet place to do dramaturg work, study, read, this is the place to be.  After all – Shhhhh, it is a library!


– super inspiring atmosphere (Lincoln center, Julliard, fountain)

– check out the ever-changing exhibit downstairs, and watch any Broadway show on tape/film

– end your day at central park or grab a cookie eight blocks away (this is the second time I’ve linked to Levain on GreenRoomBlog).

Ok, ready, set, READ!

Let me know how much material you get through 🙂

Onwards and Upwards,

The not so Newbie Actor Signature

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 17, 2013 2:48 pm

    As a playwright, even being well-read can be difficult. I like your tips – I think anyone in the theatre industry could benefit from always reading a little bit more.

  2. May 21, 2013 11:00 pm

    This is a great post. I think the Drama Book Shop is such an unsung hero of our industry. The people there really do let you treat them like your own personal research assistant.. and man do they know their plays! Also, you don’t even have to buy anything! They really have been such a help to me through the years. A must-go for any NYC actor.


  1. Blurbs, Blips, and Blunders – Coffee Highs & Tra La Guys | (for now!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: