First thing's first: Robot vs. Dinosaur (the group I've been writing with on Thursday nights) will be having a staged reading on Thursday, October 25th. It'll be at the Uptown Writer's Space, located at the corner of Lawrence and Broadway in Chicago. I think the reading starts at 8:00 and should take about an hour or so; I'll let you all know for sure later on.
Last night we had the actors come to the meeting to read through our scripts so that they can get acquainted with our long-winded, rambling scenes. There's nothing more rewarding for a comedy writer than hearing other people (particularly performers) read your scripts out loud. It reminds you that you're not just writing so that you can sit in a dimly lit basement somewhere and laugh at your own cleverness in between eating cheetos and glancing over at that Japanese game show on the Spike network. Scenes are meant to be read aloud! In public! Comedy must be shared!
That being said, that act of hearing your work read aloud will also tend to point out the glaring flaws/typographical errors/lack of proper grammar/awkward wordiness etc. potentially present in your scene. So, even though your scene might seem perfect while you're sitting in your basement watching gameshows and eating cheetos (I don't know where I'm coming up with these details - I have no basement, I have no cable and I have no food) you find out pretty quickly that even your most polished script still needs work before you actually put a scene up "for real."
Not to fear though - that's what the staged reading is for: finding the flaws and fixing them before you try conning people into paying money to see your work. It's also an invaluable way to learn what works and what doesn't. If you are a writer just starting out, I highly recommend strong-arming your actorly (or reasonably literate) friends into reading your scenes aloud for you. Typically, some sort of food or beverage offering will suffice as payment. Remember, in the theatre world, certain items can take the place of money. For instance, in the actor's world, beer is just as good as currency. Whiskey is the prefered currency of the writer. Directors prefer casting-couch sex. I don't know what lighting designers like but I'm pretty sure whatever is is it's illegal.