The theater group where I workshop my plays all year long is called The Theatre Artists
Workshop of Westport. We're no longer located in Westport, but that's our official title. We meet every Monday night, except for holidays, summer hiatus, etc., to present material for critique. The actors often bring in audition pieces for work they plan to then bring into New York.
We playwrights bring in our scripts in various stages of development, to hear them read by our accomplished actors and to get audience reaction, advice, critique. We also have a pool of gifted directors who can guide us through the process. Hearing the plays is often the best way to spot what is working and what isn't!
One of the opportunities we playwrights have is called an Alternate Night. We can secure dates in our scheduling book for when the theater will not be in regular use, and that's when we can rehearse and present versions of our new plays and invite an audience. This audience is privately invited. They are guests of the playwright, the director, and the actors. They are the people who would normally go to the theater to see plays; so their reactions are very valuable.
I'm having an alternate night in a few days. And I plan to record here what I learned from it.