I had many take-aways from being in it as one of the characters in the second scene. Reading the first scene, that I wasn't in, I came away with some idea of my character, but then to hear how they delivered those lines informed my character even more. I made a character choice, which may or may not have been the strongest one. I felt the whole time like I wasn't reacting enough to what was going on, which was a good reminder for me to have big reactions.
The biggest take-away for me involved protagonists. In many of these plays, the protagonist will be defined for us in the first scene, in this case it was the couple. It's easy to forget that as the play develops. I could have made stronger choices to focus the play back on them and their experience.
I'm also going to have to be cognizant of how "real" or "normal" to make my characters. Had I identified the couple as the protagonists in my mind before the show, I would have known that as a side character I could make my character bigger and less "real". Of course that's a delicate balance depending on the style established in the first scene.
Then, for the second first half, we did another play of mine! Unlike last week's, this was the first few pages of a completed script that I had written. This made for a very different experience. In order for the first scene to make sense, I had to whisper some secrets to a few of the performers. I would encourage playwrights to do this when necessary. I had to pass on important character information that I didn't want the audience or the other characters to know. If I think of it, I may ask each playwright if there's anything they need to tell any of the characters in secret. Of course, I forgot to tell one character a secret very important for their character. As a result he had a tough time until he made a bold choice. A bold choice that might not have worked in the context of an entire show.
On the other hand some completely surprising things happened that I hadn't thought of, but as soon as I saw them I thought "of course!" Of course things would happen that way based on how I've set things up. Something to consider if I ever give that play some rewrites.