Episode 105 Table Read
September 15, 1999

Back. Around the table. Again. It never stops. Week after week, we go through such a process with each show, taking it from these words on paper, blocking it, walking through it, rehearsing it, preparing it, and finally performing it. It's a mini-run every week. Opening night is closing night. And then we all sit around this table again with a whole new play to mount.

Today I started to realize that every script looks weak on Wednesday. If you have been following along since Week One, you have probably noticed the trend before I did. OK, maybe 'weak' isn't the right word. Take this script, for example: It is very funny. There are some cute ideas, some nice concepts, the outlines of some possibly charged material and the dialogue that gets the script from point A to point B. What's missing are the jokes that leave the audience in hysterics. And more often than not, those jokes trickle down from the writers over the course of the week. This is attributable to two factors basically. One is that the writers get to hear and see the jokes so that they can tell what's not working. The other is that instead of one person coming up with jokes, you have ten sitting around a table all trying to be funny. That's when the real A-list jokes come out. That's where each show is given the spice it needs to be fantastic.

So this week we're in that spot. Again. As usual. We have this script that's solid, interesting, well-crafted. It just needs the usual four days of punching up. And as the past has shown, the writers come through. Thank God we have a collection of people that can work well together. I imagine there are offices on shows where the writers can't stand each other. As far as I can tell, that's simply not the situation up on the third floor of our building. These men and women are doing an outstanding job and it's fun to see the process unfold every week and get to perform the finished product.

Go on to Episode Five Shoot.

Episode 105 | Behind the Scenes | Oh Grow Up