Cold Reads International (CR/I) is potentially a world-wide pool of ordinary people (including you) whose only common bond (aside from being human beings) is that we like to gather in small groups to read stage plays, aloud, without rehearsing (“cold”), for no one but ourselves (no audience). For fun, if nothing else. (There’s so much else.)
Anyone who reads can Join Us. So far we’re barely a handful.
Our Mission is to persuade the world that reading a play is surprisingly fun and immensely rewarding in a lot of different ways.
Our Vision is a world in which most ordinary people are not only regular cold readers, but also frequent patrons of a revived and thriving theatre, live on stage—for the sake of humankind.
We operate out of Charlotte, NC, where the original member group (of only two so far) has read almost every week for more than a decade (see Our History). Although we’ve been on line since 2014, we’ve yet to launch an ad campaign, pending a final draft of the argument. Headquarters of the home of George Gray, founder and so far (Spring, 18) sole contributing author of CCR/I (see Our People).
Our Crackpot Dream
It starts with just two people reading a 10-minute play over coffee. It’s fun, so they do it again. And again. It gets to be a habit. They do it with other people, who do the same. It spreads like wildfire. Some start reading longer plays, discover that dramatic art is literature, and form groups that gather regularly—like book clubs, only better.
The role of CR/I is to promote and facilitate cold reads wherever there’s a spark of interest. We reach out to readers, encourage them to join (or form) groups, invite them to join our collective, network—and spread the word.
As this grassroots movement grows, it creeps into the culture. Schools incorporate it into their curricula, not only as dramatic literature (at last, along with poetry and prose), but to improve reading and speaking skills, spark imagination, inspire creativity—reading aloud is good for the brain!
At some point, it gets to be more than our tiny staff and free (limited) WordPress blog can handle, and some benevolent foundation (or progressive government), recognizing the value of Cold Reads to their constituency and the world at large, funds an institution to promote it to the masses. (Hopefully this happens before some corporate sleazeball finds a way to make it pay). In time it becomes our most popular national (world) pastime.
By this time CR/I’s irrelevant.
Meanwhile, cold readers lead an even greater movement to bring plays back to the stage, with better productions and cheaper seats, and ordinary people find they get more out of theatre than most other things they do. New companies spring up like clover, with well-paid professional talent, rivaling, then overwhelming sports and other less fulfilling pastimes. (Football is SO Last Millennium.)
The argument from there to how Cold Reads might save the world is posted in Salvation.