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What is a Table Read?

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This process is used in both TV and film where the producer and director will gather all the actors in a room (usually sitting around a table) and read through the script with each actor saying their respective lines. There will usually be a designated individual (ie the writers assistant) who reads the descriptions and sluglines. The purpose of the table read is for the actors to practice their lines with each other and for the writer(s) to determine what dialogue needs to be reworked. It’s one thing to read the words on a script, but to have the actor use his/her voice and convey the lines out loud provides the writer(s) with so much more insight to help them figure out what lines work and what ones don’t.

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