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From PAUL ADAMS, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, EMERGING ARTISTS THEATRE
Note: Emerging Artists Theatre’s submission window is currently CLOSED.
“I read all submissions, because if someone’s taken the time, the least I can do is read it. I had a very moving experience with a female playwright who submitted a one-act play and she broke down in tears in the lobby. She said, ‘No one has responded to me in three years; you’re the first person who has actually asked for a copy of my play.’ She ended up having a three-week run here and got to sit back and watch an audience experience her work.
“We also have a new work series, and Cheryl Howard submitted her one woman show, The Sensational Josephine Baker, and we did a workshop, and it has a fourteen-week run off-Broadway [at Beckett Theatre]. And that was a cold submission; I didn’t know her or anything.
“One thing that drives me crazy is when submitted plays don’t include a title page. I have plays that I’m interested in and I have no way to contact the playwright because there’s no address, no email, or I’ll try to trace them through email and the email is now dead. I hold onto things, so contact information is important.
“The other thing is that everybody has their own unique voice, and a lot of times, I think people are writing to be commercial or write something they think people will be interested in. But when people write from the truth, even when they’re writing fiction, I don’t care if it’s two characters or twelve characters, it’s not usually a certain subject matter that attracts me—it’s their voice.”
My nutshell takeaway: I am moved by the story Mr. Adams shared of the woman who’d gone three years without a response to her submissions. Three years is a long time; I don’t know if I would have had the fortitude to soldier on if I never got a word of encouragement in THREE years. I don’t know who that woman is, but I salute her. She is worth remembering any time we feel discouraged and need to remember that it only takes one person to read, one person to notice, one person to believe. This is such a feel-good post for me, because it not only reminds me of that but that there are, indeed, people like Paul Adams who really do read every submission.
Until next time,