Single young play (Trojan Barbie) seeks stage

1 Feb

Trojan Barbie is having a reading at the Providence Black Rep on Monday February 25 at 7 pm. Nadia Mahdi, a close pal and colleague, will direct. This is a bit different for me because the director and I (she’s an affiliated artist at the theatre) pitched the play to the company.  Indeed, I am slowly getting over my modest and maidenly approach to theatre, which involves waiting for people to recognize my brilliance and beg me to let them do my plays. ( The problems in this approach are fairly substantial and may account for part of the syndrome that Paula Vogel pithily describes as “Women get prizes; men get productions”).

Also, I’ve belatedly realized that every great production I’ve had—not every opportunity, but every actual PRODUCTION–came about because some director fell in love with a play of mine and figured out how to put it on stage. So now—although I still put scripts into manila envelopes and send them off to work like Victorian children, I also look for directors I admire and see if they want to work with me…. then we figure out where and how. So far I can at least report that it’s a whole lot more fun and keeps me busy and cheerful and in the theatre (for readings and schemings at least) while my scripts are sitting in a pile on some overworked 21 year old literary intern’s desk gathering cobwebs.

Regular visitors to this site (that would be my mum and my boyfriend) know that I share a love-hate relationship to readings with many playwrights. However, again this one is different because it has a real purpose–not to educate the playwright via audience questions (how I hate that) but to frankly pitch the play to the company and the artistic director, who like many ADs, would rather hear a play aloud than read it. Art as business, not business masquerading as artistic “help”.

I’d be really interested in hearing from other playwrights as to how you manage this aspect of your life, ie. finding a home for your plays. (Certainly an agent helps me get read but not necessarily to find those artistic connections. ) The submission pile? The schmooze? The DIY production designed and lit with masking tape and four light bulbs?

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