Open Forum

WHEN IS IT A GOOD TIME?

  • 1.  WHEN IS IT A GOOD TIME?

    Posted 28 days ago
    Hi All,

    For writers that have plays that they want to get out there, and some that might be unpublished as well, when is the best time to send to high school theatre directors?   In the past, they are so busy in the spring with finishing up classes and finals, and then whoosh - they are off and gone for the summer.   Then the fall is also a busy time and no one has time to read anything.

    Even though i have many published titles, I am getting push back from publishers that I need a production before they will read a new work, so I have to get stuff out there, and it's proving to be very difficult.   Leon

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    Leon Kaye
    Playwright for the Ages
    Lhk@koa1.com
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  • 2.  RE: WHEN IS IT A GOOD TIME?

    Posted 28 days ago
    I wouldn't say we ever have a "good" time. If we're not in production for our shows we're probably prepping the kids for upcoming events and/or competitions. Personally, I read pieces all year long and give myself the summers off. I try to fit in script every week or 2 throughout the year (excluding tech and show weeks for my main stage productions). I always choose my season for the upcoming year by mid-February at the latest. I have to get my pieces approved by admin so, since I like to announce in April, I need to get the rights locked in before the middle of the month. I've had some years were this didn't happen, but I always try. I have more flexibility for my nights of one acts. I'd recommenced sending a "hey all" to us here when you have something new that needs to be work shopped or beta read. In terms of simply getting more visibility, I'd look at providing either excerpts or free reads of your pieces. I've chosen numerous pieces over the years because of this.

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    Shira Schwartz
    Chandler Unified School District
    Chandler AZ
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  • 3.  RE: WHEN IS IT A GOOD TIME?

    Posted 28 days ago
    I can't speak to your exact question, but (if you haven't already done this) see if you can think of anybody you actually know who works at a school and could put you in contact with a drama teacher, or even possibly an English teacher. You could reach out and ask if they might be willing to do a little reading or "workshop" of your play in class, if they aren't initially willing to go as far as doing a production. If it goes well, they might be willing to take the next step to production.

    You might even contact your own old high school if possible. That was a big step for my musical "Sympathy Jones" - my collaborator got in touch with her old HS drama teacher, who put on a great production of our show, and that eventually led to licensing.

    Another possibility would be if you have any connections with a faith community like a church or synagogue, as some of them will have youth groups that might be willing to put on one of your plays.

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    Brooke Pierce
    Co-author of the "spy musical" Sympathy Jones
    www.sympathyjones.com
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  • 4.  RE: WHEN IS IT A GOOD TIME?

    Posted 28 days ago

    If you have a new play, offer it up for free reading; there are numerous Facebook groups where teachers gobble up such scripts, and one of them may ultimately want to go forward and license a production. Also, develop your own email list of people who have done your work before and let them know when you have a new play.

    And of course publishers should be "pushing back" against the submission of unproduced plays. You're asking them to lock a play in its current format forever, and they want to know that it works on stage. How many publications you've had in the past is irrelevant. Each play needs its own road testing.

    Regards,
    Jonathan



    ------------------------------
    Jonathan Dorf
    Playwright/ Co-founder of YouthPLAYS/ Co-chair of The Alliance Of Los Angeles Playwrights
    Los Angeles CA
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  • 5.  RE: WHEN IS IT A GOOD TIME?

    Posted 28 days ago
    I don't mean to be harsh, but if you're talking about sending unsolicited emails, the time is never. I send those emails directly to my spam folder.

    Jonathan has some good suggestions. And I wonder if it would help to have a dedicated thread on this site to offer scripts for readings or trial productions.

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    Ken Buswell
    Drama Teacher
    Peachtree City, GA
    http://mcintoshtheater.org/

    Theater kills ignorance
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  • 6.  RE: WHEN IS IT A GOOD TIME?

    Posted 26 days ago
    Thanks All, and Brooke - yes, that was something I did and got a very nice reply from the theatre instructor and he actually liked the work I sent.    He went further to embarrass my niece by telling her in front of the class that he is in contact with her uncle the playwright.    He put my script on a shelf and never went forward so... I guess it wasn't as well liked as he first put forth.

    But yes, i guess, keep on trying and it seems it's best to try (from Shira's comment) in mid fall.   Although no time is a good time, that would be the time to start making decisions and putting the best liked plays in a pile and making a decision soon after.   Leon

    ------------------------------
    Leon Kaye
    Playwright for the Ages
    Lhk@koa1.com
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: WHEN IS IT A GOOD TIME?

    Posted 26 days ago

    Honestly, right now is the time.  We're already in rehearsal, but school hasn't started so I actually have some time.  Plus, the beginning of my school year basically runs itself because classes are all about team building for the first 2ish weeks, so I actually have a tiny bit of time.

    Another decent time would be around Thanksgiving - we're finished up with the musical, getting ready to head in to the winter play, and i usually spend part of winter break reading scripts because, like Shira, I have to start making decisions early.

    If you want to send it to me, I'd be happy to read it.  I know a lot of us often have to do proven and known works - our only means of support is ticket sales, and the fact of the matter is ticket sales are always much higher for known plays.  It's not always what we want to do, but I have to be so careful to alternate between the well known and the unknown so that we don't go bankrupt.



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    Laura Steenson
    Theatre Director
    Reynolds High School
    Troutdale OR
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  • 8.  RE: WHEN IS IT A GOOD TIME?

    Posted 20 days ago
    Thanks Laura, let me know by email what cast size and type of play you are looking for and i'll see if i have something for you.  lhk@Koa1.com

    ------------------------------
    Leon Kaye
    Playwright for the Ages
    Lhk@koa1.com
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: WHEN IS IT A GOOD TIME?

    Posted 17 days ago
    Leon,

    We like to work on such projects over the summer during our theatre camps. We would do a stage reading of the show. at my previous high school we actually enjoyed the works that we added them to our season the following year. Understand the we all get bombarded with email. So I advise sending an email and following up with a phone call. Most of us have our classroom numbers and extensions on the schools homepage. Best of luck!

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    Crit Fisher
    Lighting/Sound Designer
    New Albany High School
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