The Staged Reading Companion Series

A new series of free, one-night only staged readings to enrich your theatrical experience


Beginning in September 2017, we're turning the Palo Alto Players world upside down by adding a free series of five (5), one-night-only staged readings, taking relatively unknown theatrical pieces that match the tone, period, and theme of our mainstage productions.  These readings will not only broaden your personal theatrical canon, but will also expand and enhance your experience at Palo Alto Players!


Reservations are now open for THE TALL GIRLS on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 at 7pm. Reserve online today or call our Box Office at 650-329-0891.


For information on how to reserve seats for future staged readings in the series, join Palo Alto Players’ email list. Season subscribers will get first access to reservations and priority seating for the series. Purchase a season subscription online today, or by phone at 650-329-0891, or in person at the Box Office at the Lucie Stern Theater located at 1305 Middlefield Road in Palo Alto.


Palo Alto Players’ staged reading companion series for the 2017-18 season is as follows:



...a companion staged reading for Palo Alto Players’ production of MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET


In a swank French hotel room in the mid-1960s, an artist hides out from a world that’s turned on him. As a cavalcade of familiar faces tries to break down his door, he smokes, talks, drinks, and tries not to think about acoustic versus electric. But when a prime career opportunity lands on the table, he has to decide which version of himself he wants to be, and how to keep the past from bubbling up beneath him. Calamity West delivers a hilariously sardonic examination of how you hold onto your art when everyone else thinks that it’s theirs.



...a companion staged reading for Palo Alto Players’ production of PETER PAN


With genomic breakthroughs happening at breakneck speed, we can learn more about what our futures may hold than ever before. But how much should we know? And who gets to decide? An electrifying new play by one of the most exciting voices in American theater, INFORMED CONSENT is a powerful drama about one woman’s quest to answer the mysteries of science and her own life. Inspired by a landmark court case between one of the country’s largest universities and a Native American tribe based in the Grand Canyon, INFORMED CONSENT takes us into the personal and national debate about science v. belief, and whether our genetics define our fate.



...a companion staged reading for Palo Alto Players’ production of THE LARAMIE PROJECT


Ten years after the murder of Matthew Shepard, five members of Tectonic returned to Laramie to try to understand the long-term effect of the hate crime. They found a town wrestling with its legacy and its place in history. In addition to revisiting the folks whose words riveted us in THE LARAMIE PROJECT, this time around, the company also spoke with the two murderers, McKinney and Henderson, as well as Matthew's mother, Judy Shepard. THE LARAMIE PROJECT: TEN YEARS LATER is a bold new work, which asks the question, "How does society write its own history?"



...a companion staged reading for Palo Alto Players’ production of ROCK OF AGES


1992. Chicago. Hank is struggling to keep his legendary rock club going amid changing times and changing tastes. But when his beloved daughter, Lena, starts dating a rising-star DJ, Hank must contend with the destructive power of the Next Big Thing. Like a blast of feedback from a Fender amp, THE UNDENIABLE SOUND OF RIGHT NOW brings to hilarious and heartbreaking life the moment in popular culture when Kurt and Courtney ruled, but Moby was just around the corner…




...a companion staged reading for Palo Alto Players’ production of THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER


The tiny hamlet of Poor Prairie doesn’t see a lot of folks coming into town, least of all men – they’ve all left to find desperately needed work. So when one gets off the train, everybody talks. But this man is mysterious. He’s from Poor Prairie, but nobody knows where he’s been and his story’s got some…gaps. A few things are clear, though – he’s teaching at the high school, he knows basketball, and most importantly, he has the only inflated basketball in town. Inspired by the flourishing and the decline of high school girls' basketball teams in the 1930s rural Midwest, THE TALL GIRLS asks: who can afford the luxury of play?