For an explanation of RIPP, Real Inspiration for Playwrights Project, click here.
RICKY MARTINEZ, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, NEW THEATRE
“Right before I became Artistic Director, while I was Associate AD and also Literary Manager, I read a playwright submission, [Just A Kiss], which blew my socks off that had no agent representation. I immediately contacted the playwright, Catherine Bush, who was thrilled. I told her I loved it and I explained to her that I was going to champion the play as strongly as I could to our AD who unfortunately wasn’t as thrilled with the work as I was, and chose not to include it that season’s line-up. But the AD ended up retiring and handing the reins over to me before the season began. So what did I end up doing? I swapped out a few shows and Catherine’s was one of the plays I chose to World Premiere at our theatre. It ended up getting a superb production, stellar reviews, and ended up nominated and a finalist for the Steinberg Award!!
For this to have ever happened, I first needed to be interested in the work, which doesn’t happen if you don’t simply follow the rules of the theatre that asks you to submit your work; don’t add anything EXTRA. Before you send your work do your research on the theatre; make sure this is the theatre that will understand, appreciate, and can make it happen and you’ll save yourself time, money and heartache.
Sometimes assisting any way you can at a local theatre can yield a stronger relationship with the artistic team, opening up possibilities for collaboration. You need them/ they need you. But remember that just because one theatre loves one of your plays does not mean they’ll love them all.”
My nutshell takeaway: Follow the rules (you’re going to hear this one a lot). Do your homework. Start making connections locally. You may find a champion. I think it’s also important to note that it is all SO subjective—two guys in the same company didn’t agree on a script. But if you find out that one does, be sure to keep in touch.
Next post Tuesday. And, as always, if you have a theater to tell me about or a story to share, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.