Table reads

“Sleeping with the Dead”  by  Dagny Looper  for  The Black List  cast by  Wendy Kurtzman CSA  and  Linda Berger CSA

“Sleeping with the Dead” by Dagny Looper for The Black List cast by Wendy Kurtzman CSA and Linda Berger CSA

“Variations on Love and Madness”  by  Kenneth Kokin , casted by  Lisa Zambetti CSA

“Variations on Love and Madness” by Kenneth Kokin, casted by Lisa Zambetti CSA

Kenneth Kokin,  Perfect World Pictures

Kenneth Kokin, Perfect World Pictures

Shaan has set up an important institution fueled with unyielding passion. As an executive, writer, director, and producer I found the Storytellers Conservatory to be a beneficial experience. He was the first to have a reading of my new script, Variations on Love and Madness, which explores the hardships and celebrity of the greatest musicians of the Romantic Period. The casting was superb, and their performances made the experience invigorating for me. If any writer is fortunate enough to be selected for a reading, it will be an incredible experience.

Filmmaking is a collaborative medium, so it is best to have great minds provide feedback as well as present the best interpretations of the words in the screenplay. The team is sensitive to all the artistry and performed the work with joy and admiration. The reading helped shaped my screenplay for the better. Second to having a great creative experience I was able to meet talented actors to collaborate and work with in the future.
— Kenneth Kokin

Creative Collaboration

In the fall of 2017, I noticed that there weren’t many collaborative projects that connected professional actors, writers, directors, story creatives, and producers, especially amongst the unions. Table Reads are an obvious way to bring all these artists together to celebrate film and TV storytelling through writing and acting.

A little over a year later, my team of volunteers and I have produced close to 20 reads, featuring over 250 amazing writers and actors. And we're just getting started.

The structure is simple. These are private reads, where only guests of the writer are allowed. After introductions, the reading takes place, followed by a discussion led by the writer. The entire experience takes about 3 hours start to finish. We host these reads at the American Film Institute, the Writers Guild Foundation Library, and Culver City Casting Studios.

Beginning with professional writers groups and production companies including The Black List and Scenario, and followed by the launch of a submission process within the Writers Guild of America (WGA) thanks to, and managed by, members JS Mayank and Steve Chivers, we source incredible material from the creators of world-class content to feature in these reads.

As these relationships formed, we were lucky to get casting support from casting directors Cori-Anne Greenhouse and members of the Casting Society of America (CSA), including Wendy Kurtzman, Linda Berger, Lisa Zambetti, Becky Silverman, Helen Geier, and Kendra Shay Clark.

In addition to working with amazing artists and organizations, we strive to make these readings an experience that the participants will never forget, pulling from the writing to create decor, ambiance, and atmosphere that immerses us in the world of the story.

As actors, these readings are our gift to our writing partners in filmmaking. Writers work so hard for months or years to conceptualize a story and write a script, and if they’re lucky, it's sold, at which point their role in the filmmaking process is often over and their story may never be produced, and if it does, it may be substantially changed for and during production and post. Great table reads are the purest experience of what they wrote and envisioned.

Writers interested in having their works read, and actors interested in participating, can email me here. Writers, please send a logline and draft of the script. Actors, please send headshots, resumes, and links to reels or self taped auditions.

“7 Red”  by  Nicholas Thurkettle

“7 Red” by Nicholas Thurkettle

PRODUCTION TEAM:
Shaan Sharma, Producer
Laura Taylor, Producer
Steve Chivers, WGA Submissions
JS Mayank, WGA Submissions
Megan Halpern, The Black List
Matt Keener, Scenario
Jeff Jeffers, Sponsorships
Maury Morgan, Sponsorships

“Dealing with Dad”  by  Tom Huang (WGA)

“Dealing with Dad” by Tom Huang (WGA)

“Silencers”  by  JS Mayank (WGA) , casted by  Becky Silverman CSA

“Silencers” by JS Mayank (WGA), casted by Becky Silverman CSA

PARTICIPATING WRITERS:
JS Mayank
Davina Kotulski
Charmaine Colina
Philip Eisner
Collin Watts & Leon Langford
Jim Morrison
Cynthia Crofoot
Kenneth Kokin
Ryan Moody
Chris Sgroi
Dagny Atencio Looper
Noga Pnueli
Richard Tillotson
Randall Rapstine
Steph Reuler
Matt Keener
Nicholas Thurkettle
Tom Huang
Toni Ann Johnson
Sara Israel
Chris & William Derrick
Chris Greene
Jessica Abrams
Joey Curtis
Shaan Sharma
Reem Kadem & Raymond Martino

WRITER SOURCES:
The Black List
Writers Guild of America (WGA)
Scenario

WITH MEMBERS OF:
Writers Guild of America (WGA)
Casting Society of America (CSA)

WITH SUPPORT FROM:
Culver City Casting Studios
Writers Guild Foundation Library
American Film Institute

“RELO”  by  Chris Greene

“RELO” by Chris Greene

“The First to Know”  by  Jessica Abrams,  cast by  Cori-Anne Greenhouse

“The First to Know” by Jessica Abrams, cast by Cori-Anne Greenhouse

“American Princess”  by  Joey Curtis

“American Princess” by Joey Curtis

“The Most Important Thing”  by  Shaan Sharma

“The Most Important Thing” by Shaan Sharma

“Smack in Front of You”  by  Sara Israel (WGA)

“Smack in Front of You” by Sara Israel (WGA)

“The Local”  by  Ryan Moody

“The Local” by Ryan Moody

“Bracewater”  by  Cynthia Crofoot

“Bracewater” by Cynthia Crofoot

“Pawns in the Game”  by  Chris and William Derrick (WGA)

“Pawns in the Game” by Chris and William Derrick (WGA)

“Kirk Kirkpatrick in a Woman”  by  Noga Pnueli  for  The Black List

“Kirk Kirkpatrick in a Woman” by Noga Pnueli for The Black List

“The Real Me”  by  Reem Kadem  &  Raymond Martino

“The Real Me” by Reem Kadem & Raymond Martino