For the past 16 years, Boise Contemporary Theater has invited professional actors to the stage for a one-night-only bare-bones reading of a cutting-edge play. At the 5x5 Reading Series, BCT performs one play a month from January through May, giving audiences an opportunity to see new work while also allowing BCT to test out material on a crowd of dedicated guinea pigs.
"It's an opportunity for us to see how plays are read in front of an audience and the audience's reaction; to see if in the future we want to produce it," explained BCT Managing Director Helene Peterson. "It gives feedback in that way."
And it's been a successful experiment. In the 2008-2009 season, two 5x5 plays were turned into full-on productions--Jenny Schwartz's God's Ear and Sonja Linden's I Have Before Me A Remarkable Document Given To Me By A Young Lady From Rwanda. Though none of the plays in BCT's 2009-2010 season are part of the 5x5 series, Peterson has hopes that the first reading on Monday, Jan. 18--Samuel D. Hunter's Atlasing Sodom--might be produced next season. Other readings in this year's 5x5 series include: The Carpetbagger's Children by Horton Foote on Feb. 15, Lady by Craig Wright (author of this season's stunning The Pavilion) on March 22, Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo on April 19 and The Krumblin Foundation on May 3, which will be written and performed by Boise's own Fool Squad, Tom Willmorth and Joe Conley Golden.
Mondays, Jan. 18-May 3, 7 p.m., $12 adults, $10 under-25 or students, Boise Contemporary Theater, 854 Fulton St., 208-331-9224, bctheater.org.