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Event Details
  • Practical Playwriting
    March 14, 2020
    10:00 am - 5:30 pm
Details Price Qty
Non-members $150.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
January 20, 2020
Non Members Early-Bird $125.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
January 20, 2020
Members $125.00 (USD)   Goes On Sale
January 20, 2020
Members Early-Bird $100.00 (USD)  

Practical Playwriting: How to Write for Commercial Production 2020

Saturday March 14th, 10am to 5:30 pm
Clinton Cameo Studios, 307 W. 43rd Street, Studio A

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.

Click here to download application. Please fill out and send to TRUStaff1@gmail.com

This one-day intensive will be taught by TRU Literary Manager Cate Cammarata, 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.

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?

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Schedule (subject to change):

9am - 10am - Practical Considerations: What Things Cost, What Producers Look For - practical guidelines taught by Patrick Blake
  • What is "produciblity?" 
  • Writing to your market
  • Writing economically
10am - 11am - What Producers Are Looking For in a Script: Dramaturgical Principles with Cate Cammarata
  • How to analyze your script from a producer's point of view
  • Be your own dramaturg: make sure your script "works"
11:15 - 12:30 Identifying Your Market & Mapping Your Plan - how to market your play and move it forward, with Patrick Blake, Cate Cammarata and two other guests
 
12:30pm to 1:30 pm - Lunch
 
1:30pm to 2:30 pm - Getting to Yes. (Cate, Pat and guests)                     
  • Steps of development
  • What goals to set at each step
  • Do I need a lawyer?
  • How to get an agent
  • Where to develop my play
  • Licensing your play
  • Outline of a reasonable option agreement
2:30 pm to 2:45 pm - Break
 
2:45pm to 3:45 - How to Improve Your Pitch taught by Cate Cammarata
  • Making your best elevator pitch ever: essential components you need to know
3:45pm to 4:00 Break
 
4:00pm - 5:30pm - Inter-Active "Pitch" Session with feedback from producers 
  • 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.
 
Participants receive the Practical Playwright's Guide: A Take-Home Handout, which includes:
  • exercises in Play Structure and Aristotle's 6 Elements, 
  • Examples of Query & Cover Letters, 
  • Loglines and Synopses; 
  • How to Submit and How Often
  • 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.
Panelists
  • PATRICK BLAKE

    is a writer/producer based in New York and San Francisco, and Founding Artistic Director of Rhymes Over Beats, a hip hop theater company. In New York theater, he is a producer of the off-Broadway revival of The 39 Steps, the off-Broadway transfer of Bedlam Theater Company's dual productions of Hamlet and Saint Joan, and is currently producing My Life Is a Musical (from the TRU Voices series) which had a debut production at Bay Street Theatre. He was one of the producers of Play Dead! at The Players Theatre, he has produced In the Continuum at Perry Street Theatre, Noah's Archive, Joe Fearless, The Exonerated (Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Court TV's Scales of Justice Award) and The Soap Myth at Southstreet Seaport. He also produced Dirty Works at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He was Executive Producer for the short film, The Igloo, and the feature film Mr. Smith Gets a Hustler. Patrick is a proud board member of TRU.

  • CATE CAMMARATA (TRU literary manager)

    is a producer, director, dramaturg and writer in NYC and is the Associate Artistic Director for Rhymes Over Beats Hip Hop Theater Collective. Cate has produced The Assignment off-Broadway and My Father's Daughter with Ursula Rucker at La Mama for Rhymes Over Beats. Regionally she produced My Life Is a Musical at Bay Street Theater and has directed many readings of new work in NYC. She is the Literary Manager for Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) and is the Director of Creative Development for MusicalWriters.com. Cate holds a BFA in Acting/Directing from Syracuse University and an MFA in Dramaturgy at SUNY Stony Brook, and teaches Theatre Arts at Baruch College. Her latest book, "Contemporary Monologues for a New Theater," was listed as one of the Top Ten Books for theatre lovers by BroadwayDirect in 2018. catecammarata.comcreatetheater.com

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