Saturday May 14th, 10am to 5:30 pm
The Playroom Theater, 151 W. 46th St., 8th Floor
What often holds playwrights back is that they rarely consider the person who will buy and produce their product: the producer. With all the work, hope and sweat they invest in considering character, theme and plot, playwrights rarely take into account producibility.
This one-day intensive will be taught by Diana Amsterdam (The Dodgers, Fast Girls, Sex and Death, Carnival Round the Central Figure), TRU's Program Director for Playwrights. With segments of the workshop taught by commercial producer Patrick Blake (The 39 Steps, My Life Is a Musical, Bedlam Theater's Hamlet/St. Joan, The Exonerated, In the Continuum, Play Dead) founding artistic director of Rhymes Over Beats, TRU's Bob Ost and Gary Hughes offering marketing insights and Gillien Goll who will teach you how to present yourself successfully.
The day ends with a panel of commercial producers who will offer feedback on writers' pitches as well as suggest appropriate markets for the works. Panelists will include producers Pat Addiss (Gigi, Buyer and Cellar, A Christmas Story the musical, Promises, Promises, Little Women), Patrick Blake (The 39 Steps, My Life Is a Musical, Bedlam Theater's Hamlet/St. Joan, The Exonerated, In the Continuum, Play Dead) founding artistic director of Rhymes Over Beats, RK Greene of The Storyline Project (A Time to Kill, Peter & the Starcatcher), Robin Rothstein, director of Operations at Broadway Across America and Lorenzo Thione of Sing Out, Louise! Productions, lead producer of Broadway's Allegiance, also associate producer of Slava's Snowshow, Green Day's American Idiot and the tour of Xanadu.
• WHAT IS PRODUCIBILITY? The fact that producers always ask this question, and playwrights hardly ever do, causes a serious disconnect between the commercial producer and most playwrights.
• WRITING TO A MARKET - We will ask each playwright questions he or she has probably never considered before: Who is your market? Who is going to buy tickets? Who is this play written for?
• WRITING VIABLY - Creating writing that holds the attention of the audience with a strong storyline and defined events. This module will cover such primary writing elements as: arc, desire, motivation, conflict, and the clear delineation of theme.
• WRITING ECONOMICALLY - Number of characters, number of sets, extravagance of sets: all these are serious considerations for most commercial producers. Does the play require a casting director, or can it be done successfully by seasoned unknowns? Is there a chorus of thirty that can be pared down to two? Are you kidding yourself when you think one actor can play eight parts?
Schedule (subject to change):
10:30am-11:30 How to Write a Play that a Producer Wants to Produce - Playwriting craft and structure taught by Diana Amsterdam
11:30-12:15 How to Tackle the Business of Playwriting - taught by Diana Amsterdam
Getting an agent, submitting work, the difference between nonprofit and commercial venues, unusual ways to get your work noticed.
12:15-1:00pm Practical Considerations: What Things Cost, What Producers Look For - practical guidelines taught by Patrick Blake
1:00-2:00 Lunch Break
2:00-3:15 Getting to the Essence: A Good Synopsis and How to Pitch It - taught by Bob Ost and Gary Hughes, working with each writer individually to discover the compelling "saleable" essence of your work
3:15-4:15 Practicing Your Pitch - taught by Gillien Goll
Reducing Stress, Increasing Confidence
Physical Ed: Body Language, Focus, Eye Contact
Pitching with Passion
4:30-5:30 Identifying Your Market - an inter-active "pitch" session with feedback from producers
Participants receive the Practical Playwright's Guide: A Take-Home Handout - including exercises in Play Structure and Story Truths, Examples of Query Letters, Loglines, and Synopses; Costs of Various Components of a Production including Actors' Fees, Costumes, Sets and More; a list of great New York theaters for rent; Invaluable Websites for Playwrights, and a list of Playwright Workshops.