2008 is the year I start sending my work back out into the world again. Much of my time used to be occupied by copying manuscripts, binding plays, writing cover letters, licking Self Addressed Stamped Envelopes, serving time in the post office line, and receiving a lot of rejections. These were analog days when Charlie Chaplin was the toast of the town, and the jitterbug was sweeping the nation.
After a little research, I’ve brought myself back up to speed.
1. En Avant
With over half a million hits, there’s a reason this simple online bulletin board is so popular. The brainchild of Kathleen Warock, founding member of the New York-based En Avant Playwrights, the site began as a way to share information with fellow company members. It was an idea too good to keep to themselves. If you’re looking for a one-stop place to find a home for your new plays, this would be my pick. Because it is updated regularly by users, the scoops are fresh. You’ll find opps for full-lengths plays, one-acts, 10 minute plays, as well as categories for publishing and residencies. Be sure to check out the Other Useful Links, where a lot of good stuff can be found. En Avant is free, but if you become a regular user, consider leaving a donation via paypal, or contribute a hot tip when you find one.
2. Playwriting Opportunities for the E-Merging Writer
A fairly comprehensive free site created through the generosity of a dedicated group of writers, the home page features compelling last-minute opportunities.
3. Playwright’s Forum
Very similar to the above, but with a community element. If you’re seeking a friendly, supportive advice from fellow playwrights on submission guidelines, the dirt on regional companies, or feedback on a script, the Forum is your place.
It’s nice to see a group of writers bingeing on something other than cheap alcohol or self-loathing. This yahoo community of playwrights converge online to complete marketing and submission marathons (or binges, if you will), sharing information with each other as they go. Sign up is required via yahoo groups (along with a statement giving reason for joining), but don’t worry– this is a convivial and supportive gang. I had to back out of the email notifications on the site, because the volume became a little overwhelming.
Sending your play directly to a company that shares your style and aesthetic is a fine way to get your play produced. All it takes is a little research and a thoughtfully-written letter of request. (Never, ever, send unsolicited scripts to anyone, without gaining permission first!) The place to find the latest information on the current theatre scene is Theatreforte, a compendium of theatre-related blogs sponsored by
The Dramatists Sourcebook
I can’t end this post without mentioning the swiss army knife of
playwrights everywhere, The Dramatists Sourcebook. It’s still a great source of information on companies, contests, residencies, and has a handy calendar at the back. Buy it here, or if you’re on a tight budget, and want to wait for the 25th Addition, check it out of your local library.