4 Reasons Why The Reading Of Your New Play or Musical Should Be 45 Minutes (Or Less)

On their way to becoming Broadway shows, most new plays or musicals will go through a series of readings, workshops or labs.

Most of the time these readings are meant to create buzz, secure investments or book a theater.

If that’s the goal for your next reading, here’s the best way to get there: keep it short.

Show Off Your Best Stuff

A new play or musical takes time to develop. Even if 80% of your script seems ready for prime time, there’s a good chance you’re going to make some changes along the way

So, for now, stick to the songs or the scenes that showcase your best material.

Get to Yes

People in the industry get invited to a lot of readings. Your job is to get them to agree to come to yours.

The simplest way to do that is to convince them that your reading won’t take up too much of their day. A 45 minute presentation is a pretty easy yes, even for the busiest of people.

Reduce Costs

A longer reading means more rehearsal time, which usually means increased room rental costs and higher fees for actors, stage managers and directors.

If you can trim the script for the reading, you can probably reduce your budget as well.

Star Power

One of the best ways to create buzz and attract an audience to your reading is to cast actors who have name recognition within the industry. But the more name recognition an actor has, the busier their schedule is likelier to be.

There is an easy fix. If you shorten the script and the rehearsal time, you will increase your chances of getting an A-lister to perform at your reading.


So if you really want to put your best foot forward and make it easier for people to come to your reading, consider showcasing a streamlined version of your script.

Presenting 45 minutes of your prime material may just be the smartest and easiest way to accomplish your goal of securing investments, booking a theater and generating buzz.