the shape of things

Dissecting the Text: Rehearsed Readings of HSC Texts

In 2013 ATYP Education starts a series of rehearsed readings of HSC texts followed by a lively interactive forum experience that lets your students do all the talking.








Opening night of ATYP's rehearsed reading of Neil Labute'sThe Shape of Things was a huge success. The post performance discussion posed questions such as: 

  • what is art?
  • what are the advantages of a rehearsed reading as opposed to full production?
  • what makes a play black comedy?
  • is Evelyn truly evil?
  • has Evelyn been shaped by Adam too?

Keep up to date with the discussion on twitter #theshapeofthings

Stay tuned for more behind the scenes info!


in rehearsal

ATYP education mangers Heather Clark and Adèle Jeffreys are currently in rehearsal for ATYP’s moved reading of Neil Labute’s The Shape of Things

what is a reharsed reading?

A moved or rehearsed reading is a reading of a play where the actors have scripts in hands. The director reads the stage directions. Sometimes the actors will be seated and it is purely voices that carry the story along. Other times directors may choose to block the scenes in the space.

  • what are the advantages/disadvantages of a rehearsed reading?
  • coming to the show? email us to let us know what are you are expecting from the reading!


Where is the action?

Have a look at where we are plotting each scene in our space - click on the image for a deatailed view.

  • Why do you think we have planned things this way?

scene one - overlapping lines

The opening scene is full of ovelapping lines denoted by the symbol /

We have been working on:

  • overlapping of voices through soundscaping
  • interruptions without arguments


scene three - a living room: blocking tension

We know in this scene that things heat up between Evelyn and Phillip.  The stage directions state that they are in a lounge room and that Phillip and Jenny are on opposite couches. We decided to play with the space between Evelyn and Phillip.

In the photos below our actors are seated: Adam, Phillip, Evelyn and Jenny


a few questions to ask:
  • How does Phillip’s body language portray his initial impression of Evelyn?
  • Comment on the space between Evelyn and Phillip 
  • How do you think Adam and Jenny are feeling? 
  • Who has the highest status in this scene? Why?
  • How does status relate to level here?
we decided to change up the scene with the blocking below:


some more questions:
  • What effect does this have on the audience?
  • Comment on the relationship between Evelyn and Phillip now? 
  • What is Adam’s role here? 
  • How does level influence status in these pictures?
  • Which version of blocking do you prefer? Why? 

Which version do you think we chose to use?

email Adèle with your comments/questions about The Shape of Things.