originally posted on June 15, 2011
The other day, I got an exciting email from David Carnevale, Managing Director of Theatre Out. My short play, Write This Way, has been selected as one of six to be part of their second annual Briefs Festival. The show runs ten nights, and last year, every night sold out, so I’m pretty excited about this opportunity.
The downside? I likely cannot travel to San Diego to see this performance, and it got me to thinking how difficult it must be for playwrights whose work is performed regularly to not get to see their finished products. Stephen Adly Guirgis told me that he often gets packages (most often for The Last Days of Judas Isacriot) in the mail from theaters who have done his plays–photos, DVDs, programs–but he’s Stephen Adly Guirgis and he even he admits that that doesn’t always happen. Many times, he finds out that his play was produced only when he receives the royalty check (and we all know that sometimes he won’t even get that…). Hey, I’ve already had that experience once myself, so imagine if my plays were being produced at a Guirgis level.
When I write magazine articles or create crossword puzzles, I may not get to see a reader’s or solver’s reaction, but I do get to see it in print. Not so with plays. It’s kind of sad that the very collaborative nature of our work–which we love–means that the finished product involves others, but also means we often don’t get to see it because, let’s face it, how many playwrights can afford to?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.