You know, despite what some people might say, I find it extraordinarily easy to write a play. I just sit on my couch in our middle room, put my feet up on the coffee table, and start writing.
What I am finding extraordinarily hard is getting connected with artistic directors and theaters. (Okay, I've been a playwright for not even three years yet, and I just graduated, so maybe I am a bit impatient.) But all I'm hearing from People Who Know is that the old model is broken. Sending your scripts to a theater and expecting them to love your work and then produce it is about as likely to happen as Boston experiencing an earthquake and a hurricane all in one week. (Wait, that did just happen. But you know what I'm trying to say.)
Self producing is the way to go, we're told. Produce your own plays and create your own buzz and excitement, and then the bigger theaters will come to you. Makes sense. Note to self: rent theater space, hire actors and a director, put on play.
Musicians went through this broken paradigm business a while back. Record labels were controlling the business and People Who Should Have Been Heard were languishing in groady bars and their parent's basements. Musicians started producing and distributing their own work, and the world is changing for musicians.
In that spirit, I've decided to start sharing my scripts, a la Radiohead. I'm going to start posting, well, not the entire scripts, but first acts and other work. Call me crazy, but I don' t think anyone is going to steal anything. I mean, what are you really going to do with the first act of a full-length play, write your own second act? But this will give artistic directors a better idea of my work, and again, call me crazy, bI think I'll have a better chance of catching the attention of an insomniac artistic director surfing late at night, than I will fighting the slush pile.
The first posting is right here, and it's the first act of Turtles, my current work in progress. If you like it, or have comments, I'd love to hear from you. If you're an artistic director and would like to commission me to finish it for your theater, I'll be your friend forever. If you like it and think you know someone who should read it, pass it along.