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The Artist's Laboratory

What an incredible experience! Just over a week ago (June 1st) Mangrove Creative Collective hosted the first official reading of a new play “The Prey” and it was nothing short of amazing! Eight talented actors and a wonderful stage manager gave up their Monday afternoon to work with director, Margaret M. Ledford to bring life to the script for the first time.

The day was planned by project manager Joseph NeSmith (left) who took care of every detail from schedules to food and even lent his acting skills to the reading!

As the playwright, my approach to the day was pure experimentation and I took the liberty of naming the day the “script lab.” A safe space where we were going to combine various elements together for the first time to gauge the reactions and study the chemistry. There was no audience, no deadline, no pressure and no assigned objective.

The artists were free to explore and encouraged to ask questions. Their feedback was invaluable and allowed me to view my work with new clarity. I was blown away by the thoughtfulness and sensitivity of each performance.

Director Margaret Ledford worked deftly through the script examining each moment with sharp insight.

Every person present made immeasurable, lasting contributions to the project and shaped the way I view each character and the story as a whole. I was challenged one moment and encouraged the next.

Experiences like this are what makes Mangrove Creative Collective so unique. A thoughtful, collaborative process that keeps the artists in the forefront. An environment where everyone can contribute and the art can be crafted carefully. I can’t wait to be on the other side of the process for the next artist!

Thanks to all of the gifted collaborators who came together for this unforgettable experiment!

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