Things I would theoretically consider before typing a paper script (or printing an e-script!)...
- How talky is the play?
- Cost per use. Yes, I like my margins a certain way and I like to add space, and I like line numbers for being on book. Is that enough to make it worth the (probably unpaid) time I will spend typing?
- RE: doing it to "learn the script." I will hear the script a billion times and learn it along with the actors. I will be sick to death of it by closing. There will be oodles of table time when I will be gently escorted through textual analysis. Could I better spend the time learning authorial context, historical research, listening to the proper dialects, doing a real knockout Cue Fu*, or looking into shows that my design team & company have recently done? After all, these the things that will be important to MY job through the process. Knowing the script before rehearsal starts? That's the director's job. The actor's job. The dramaturg's job.
- How "locked" is the text?
- How will my escript look in my portfolio vs a paper script? Will it look like I'm diligent and dedicated? Or that I'm willing to do a lot of extra work for free? Or worse, that I'm high maintenance and will waste company money on fiddly things?
- Chances of a remount? And when? 10 years ago we were saving digital stuff on CDs and ZIP drives. 20 years ago it was floppy disks and tape drives. Remounting a show using your digitized script next year is one thing, but could you even access an archived e-script from 2003 using today's tech without scrounging high and low for rare peripherals?
- Is this a case of "make ALL the paperwork
" cleverly disguised as dramaturgy?
- How active is rehearsal going to be? If I'm going to be running all over the hall, will it be easier to carry paper or my tech gear?
- How reliable is the power at the theatre? How about the weather? How's security in the hall? What's my photocopy budget for this show?
- How old is my laptop's battery?
- How pictorial is my blocking shorthand? It's easier and faster to draw diagrams on paper. It's easier to type text abbreviations.
- How tech-savvy is my crew? If I get HBAB** can my assistant/the PM/the director's brother/whoever they get to cover for me figure out my escript?
- Am I setting a precedent that I will be retyping every script for this company going forward?
* Cue Fu - line by line analysis of the show for potential tech issues, using a big honking grid. Kind of like a WWW. Kind of not.
** HBAB - hit by a bus