After the staged reading of Raggedy’s Kingdom

It’s taken me a week to recover. It may seem odd to say that …

since it was such a huge success!


Photo by Emma Mackenzie Hillier. Pictured: Scott Garland, Caroline Sawyer, Chloe Sullivan Kat Letwin, and Kevin Chew.

All that worry from the weeks before when I was dreaming of entering an empty theatre, of no one showing up… the opposite occurred. After a few hours of waiting impatiently between rehearsal and the top of the show, suddenly 20 minutes until the show I found people swarming toward the entrance of Storefront Theatre.

Members of St. Stephen-in-the-Field, Bread and Honey, Kimbourne Park United, Nelson Education co-workers, fellow American expats, mentors from York University, the Shaw Festival, and the LMDA, my Zumba instructor, past roommates and their family, frineds from Indy Convergence and York University alumni, one of my volunteers from last year’s SummerWorks, plenty of Toronto Cold Reads writers and actors, boyfriend… I am sorry if I forgot anyone because there were so many of you.

I thought I would have the smallest house all week because I didn’t grow up here, I’m just starting my career in the Toronto indie theatre scene, my family is literally spread out across the globe… excuses, excuses.

Instead, I had such enthusiastic turnout that we had to ADD IN MORE SEATS. My beloved dramaturg had to STAND through the entire performance because she didn’t have a place to sit.

I found that all the work I’ve been putting in to growing connections and community has created an amazing, diverse audience for my art.

So how did it go?


Photo credit John Krissalas. Pictured same as above, plus Maggie Sulc.

I not only had an audience, but a super attentive one. For the first time, I got to listen to the entire play as a horror, not as a random funny creepy bits in various cold readings.

Major props to the actors who blew me away in rehearsal with your questions and amazing attention to detail in building these characters in just a few hours. I needed to hear them and you helped me imagine them more fully.

All parts of the Storefront team reminded me why I want to write this as a play first: I love the way that actors, designers, directors, producers, dramaturgs, etc all add to the picture. It’s not worth much as just my story. But with all of your input, it becomes so much more than that.

What’s next?

I’m overwhelmed looking at next steps. Hence why it has taken me two weeks to even write a blog post about it.

All signs point toward continued development. A wealth of positive feedback just from this first staged reading shows me this is a story worth telling– a play people will indeed want to see.

I don’t yet have a definite plan for when and how it will be staged–but I’m all ears for feedback and opportunities. Stay tuned–it will happen.


Photo credit John Krissalas. Design by Imogen Wilson.

Raggedy has been getting impatient… she’s ready to come out and play. For real this time.


About austinausten88

Playwright in love with Classic films, afternoon tea, and Noel Coward. She recently graduated from Rice University. In the fall, she will be exchanging her English major undergraduate status for that of Theatre & Performance Studies graduate student.
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One Response to Aftermath

  1. Pingback: My First Quarter Century: Year in Review | gladlybeyondaustinausten

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