November 30, 2010

questions and answers

Mariah has a bunch of questions for us playwrights and admin types, which means I should probably answer since I follow 2AMt on Twitter and spam them with my stuff.

1. Playwrights: have you ever had a play produced as a result of submitting it to a theater with an “open submission” policy? (And if you submitted it to Theater A, and Theater A did a reading of it, to which a rep from Theater B came, and Theater B produced the play, that doesn’t count.)

Nope. Every play I wanted to do I had to put it up myself. I explain why in more detail below.

5. Playwrights: how vital do you consider readings and workshops to your process? Do you feel it actually improves your play? When it works, why does it work? When it doesn’t, why doesn’t it?

I consider readings an important part of my revision and rewriting process. There's something about hearing the words out loud and seeing the action in real time. I wouldn't say it improves the play so much as reveal it. Until some actors get their hands on it, I don't have a firm idea of what I'm really working with.

7. Playwrights: do you agree with Itamar Moses that it’s more productive to get artistic directors, rather than literary managers, to see your work? Or have literary managers/departments actually been responsible for your work getting produced? Or have both been the case at different times?

As far as I'm concerned, gatekeepers are gatekeepers. I believe it's more important for those gatekeepers to be aware of what they're bringing to their understanding (or misunderstanding) of particular works and how that impacts what they consider stageworthy. My solution has been to ignore them altogether and pursue self-production because, based on what the people who'd be able to open those doors have not been telling me, it'd be a waste of my time to bother with them.

10. Playwrights: do you find that doing rewrites in rehearsal/preparation for a reading or workshop is preferable/more productive to doing rewrites in rehearsal for a production?

Generally I prefer doing rewrites between performances (of whatever type). Each of the 3 readings of Tulpa had a VERY different script. For me, that works very well because it's easier for me (and people who follow my stuff) to follow the evolution of a particular play.

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