All posts by George Gray

I'm a veteran theatre professional who thinks the impending death of the lively art reflects the deconstruction of human(e) civilization.

Cold Reads in a Nutshell

Cold Reads International (CR/I)

is a grassroots movement to encourage people everywhere to read great plays with others.
Out loud (it’s good for the brain).
With no preparation (“cold”).
For no one but ourselves (no audience).
It’s FUN! A play is play.
It’s PUBLIC. Anyone who reads can join.
It’s FREE for anyone with a digital reader.
It’s OPTIONAL. Come only when you want to.
All the arguments in favor of this surprisingly pleasurable pastime appear herein, along with tips and guidelines, rules of the game, all the many variations, a growing library of downloadable scripts, and an invitation to join the Cold Reads movement.
How It Plays

A cold read happens
when any member of CR/O  chooses a play, acquires a digital copy, creates an event on CR/O, posts the script (and for online reads, the link to the room), and invites some friends, who download the script, show up on time, and read. It’s that simple. See How It Happens for tips and guidelines.

NOTE. More often than not, allotted time runs out before the final curtain. Plan ahead and schedule a second time to  see how it ends.

The read begins
when the Host announces the title of the play, names the author, introduces the characters, and reads the opening (and subsequent) stage directions.

Then someone  else—
anyone, regardless of gender, age, or type—reads the first line of dialogue and assumes that role; another reads the second and does likewise, and so on, as other characters appear, doubling up for crowd scenes and occasionally swapping roles, so everybody reads the leads.

We don’t perform
(although we don’t discourage histrionics); there is no audience. Some readers are actors; most have never set foot on stage. The game is to discover the play as we speak the lines, like reading a novel.

Anyone can interrupt at any time
to question, clarify, share thoughts, and socialize.  Reading continues when the host (or anyone) picks up the dialogue. If time runs out, we set another time to finish (or see ow it ends on our own).
It’s like a book club,

only we explore a play together and discuss it as we go, not after the fact. After all, a play is dialogue—people talking to each other. Tailor-made for quality time with friends.

It’s a parlor game,
like charades or Pictionary, poker, bridge, Monopoly, storytelling, Truth or Consequences, Dungeons and Dragons—the list goes on.


Facebook Connections

The CR/I Facebook Pagee is the Facebook Face of CR/I, where anyone, anywhere, can share related thoughts and doings. There is no membership, but anyone who likes and follows (good), posts and comments (better), or hosts a a read with friends (best by far) will be invited to join

Cold Reads on Line (CR/O), where members can sign up to read with others, locally in person and world-wide online, and invite friends to their own cold reads events.


Meet Cold Reads/Online


To see how the pandemic has affected CR/I, visit Cold Reads/Online.

Cold Reads on Line banner

This Facebook group is open to readers everywhere as a means to connect with others anywhere, any and all of whom can post their thoughts and doings, read with friends (or total strangers), and post invitations to CR/I events.

So far the group has 96 members.

The time will come when I’ll transform this blog to conform with the new reality.