In an interview with the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative, Steven Epperson, Literary Manager for Impact Theatre talks about things that turn him off when reading a play. One of those things is too many stage directions. Among other things, he says “Having line after line after line after line of stage directions interrupts the flow and rhythm that I’m trying to discern from a playwright’s writing.” Further down, in the comments, he suggests as an exercise removing all stage directions except entrances and exits.
I consider myself somewhat spare in stage directions to begin with. Nevertheless, I tried Steven’s suggestion in a few places in one of my plays. What I discovered is that having too many stage directions can also interfere with my editing process.
Spoiler alert: If you’re doing blind reading for a competition that had a Nov. 30 deadline, you might not want to continue reading.