“My Lady’s Song”  by  Dan Lauria

“My Lady’s Song” by Dan Lauria

“The Coffin Club”  by  Joel David Santner ,  The Black List  WIP Series, cast by  Kendra Castleberry & Billy Murphy CSA

“The Coffin Club” by Joel David Santner, The Black List WIP Series, cast by Kendra Castleberry & Billy Murphy CSA

Having The Coffin Club read with such a talented cast and the support of Megan at The Black List and Shaan and his team was an incredible gift. The video design, props, and music helped create a fully embodied world that allowed the actors and me to visualize the story in an insightful and meaningful way. It was truly a pleasure. Thank you.
— Joel David Santner, "The Coffin Club"
“Variations on Love and Madness”  by  Kenneth Kokin , cast by  Lisa Zambetti CSA

“Variations on Love and Madness” by Kenneth Kokin, cast 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 entertainment unions and sister associations. Table Reads are an obvious way to bring all these artists together to celebrate film and TV storytelling through writing and acting.

Almost two years later, our team of volunteers has produced close to 50 reads, featuring over 500 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, 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, and most recently our partnership with Coverfly, 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 the Casting Society of America (CSA), including members Wendy Kurtzman, Linda Berger, Lisa Zambetti, Becky Silverman, Helen Geier, Kendra Shay Clark, Michael Sanford, Judy Bouley, Kendra Castleberry, and Billy Murphy.

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 us here. Writers, please send a logline and draft of the script. Actors, please send headshots, resumes, and links to reels or self taped auditions.

DONATIONS
These readings are an all-volunteer effort but still cost around $600 per reading, including facility rental, script printing, office supplies, refreshments, and decor. We are actively seeking sponsors to support our program. We also appreciate any donations, the entirety of which go directly towards the costs associated with doing the reads and expanding the program. Thank you so much for your support!

PRODUCTION TEAM:
Shaan Sharma, Executive Producer
Jim Morrison, Producer, Admin
Lauren Henning, Producer, Admin
Maggie Jorgenson, Producer, Admin
Amanda Pieper, Producer, Admin, Social Media
Laura Taylor, Producer, Admin
Marti Kass, Producer, Admin
Sarah Jane Johnson, Producer, Admin
Steve Chivers, WGA Submissions
JS Mayank, WGA Submissions

Megan Halpern, The Black List
John Rhodes, Tom Dever, Emily Dell, CoverFly
Matt Keener, Scenario

“Mercury Falling”  by  Christopher B Derrick (WGA)

“Mercury Falling” by Christopher B 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

“Shrimp”  by  Nicoles Jones ,  The Black List  WIP Series, cast by  Lisa Zambetti & Becky Silverman CSA

“Shrimp” by Nicoles Jones, The Black List WIP Series, cast by Lisa Zambetti & Becky Silverman CSA

“American Princess”  by  Joey Curtis

“American Princess” by Joey Curtis

“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

“Everything’s Going to Pot”  by  Valerie McCaffrey

“Everything’s Going to Pot” by Valerie McCaffrey

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

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

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

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

“Wreck”  by  Anna Campbell & Kate Miner , photo by  Judy Bouley CSA

“Wreck” by Anna Campbell & Kate Miner, photo by Judy Bouley CSA

“Whittier”  by  Ben Mehlman & Filipe Coutinho , cast by  Kendra Castleberry & Billy Murphy, CSA

“Whittier” by Ben Mehlman & Filipe Coutinho, cast by Kendra Castleberry & Billy Murphy, CSA

“The Concierge”  by  JS Mayank WGA , cast by  Becky Silverman CSA

“The Concierge” by JS Mayank WGA, cast by Becky Silverman CSA

“Distortion”  by  Travis Opgenorth , in partnership with  Coverfly.

“Distortion” by Travis Opgenorth, in partnership with Coverfly.

“Bravemind”  by  Reiss Clauson-Wolf & Julian Silver, WGA

“Bravemind” by Reiss Clauson-Wolf & Julian Silver, WGA

We just wanted to reiterate how grateful we are for the work you put in, the time you gave to us, and for sharing your very talented family with us. Yesterday was a true pleasure, and, as we already mentioned, a huge help to us in our process. It’s really lovely to have artists like yourselves come out to support us.

I’ve never written a valediction like this, but you make us feel it!

In Solidarity,
Julian & Reiss
“The Garden”  by  Racelle Rosett, WGA , cast by  Caroline Liem, CSA

“The Garden” by Racelle Rosett, WGA, cast by Caroline Liem, CSA

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

“Silencers” by JS Mayank (WGA), cast 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
Valerie McCaffrey
Pierre Finn
Adam Burch
Nicole Jones
Craig Goodwill
Laura Shamas
Joel David Santner
Alexa Oona Schulz
Maddy Curley & Brooke Buffington
Julian Silver & Reiss Clauson-Wolf
Dan Lauria
Anna Campbell & Kate Miner
Michela Smith
Ben Mehlman & Filipe Coutinho
Steve Chivers
Travis Opgenorth
Edward Klau
Brian Delate

WRITER SOURCES:
The Black List
CoverFly
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
CoverFly

CURRENT SPONSORS - Thank you!

“Dealing with Dad”  by  Tom Huang (WGA)

“Dealing with Dad” by Tom Huang (WGA)

“The Seventh”  by  Julian Silver & Reiss Clauson-Wolf

“The Seventh” by Julian Silver & Reiss Clauson-Wolf

“The Real Me”  by  Reem Kadem  &  Raymond Martino

“The Real Me” by Reem Kadem & Raymond Martino

“47xxy”  by  Pierre Finn

“47xxy” by Pierre Finn

“The Most Important Thing”  by  Shaan Sharma

“The Most Important Thing” by Shaan Sharma

“The Last Magician”  by  Adam Burch

“The Last Magician” by Adam Burch

“Snowblind”  by  Nicholas Thurkettle

“Snowblind” by Nicholas Thurkettle

“The Local”  by  Ryan Moody

“The Local” by Ryan Moody

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

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

“7 Red”  by  Nicholas Thurkettle

“7 Red” by Nicholas Thurkettle

“Bracewater”  by  Cynthia Crofoot

“Bracewater” by Cynthia Crofoot

“Queen’s Gambit”  by  Chris Greene

“Queen’s Gambit” by Chris Greene

“RELO”  by  Chris Greene

“RELO” by Chris Greene

“D1”  by  Maddy Curley & Brooke Buffington  for  The Black List  WIP Series.

“D1” by Maddy Curley & Brooke Buffington for The Black List WIP Series.

“Bury the Lede”  by  Michela Smith , cast by  Judy Bouley CSA , for  The Black List  WIP Series.

“Bury the Lede” by Michela Smith, cast by Judy Bouley CSA, for The Black List WIP Series.

“Memorial Day”  by  Brian Delate

“Memorial Day” by Brian Delate

“Balance”  by  Edward Klau , in partnership with  Coverfly.

“Balance” by Edward Klau, in partnership with Coverfly.