Event Details
  • Practical Playwriting (pay-what-you-can to keep us running)
    August 30, 2020
    1:00 pm - 4:45 pm
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Practical Playwriting: How to Write for Commercial Production (virtual)

Sunday August 30th, 1:00pm to 5:00pm
A virtual workshop on Zoom, open to playwrights everywhere.

CLICK HERE to fill out the registration form.

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 TRU Literary Manager Cate Cammarata and 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.

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: What is your market? Who is going to buy tickets? Who is this play written for?

HOW TO SPEAK "PRODUCER" - Understanding the producer's point of view, and learning to look at your work from a more objective perspective may increase your chances of getting produced.


Schedule (subject to change):

1pm - 1:45pm - Getting a producer to read your play
  • How your creative choices influence your budget
  • Producible where? What makes a property commercial? What are other markets?
  • Managing expectations and knowing who your audience is
  • What producers look for in a play, and a partner
  • Avoiding encumbrances
2pm - 2:45pm - Getting a producer to like your play
  • How collaborations work, and what to expect from your composer and co-writers
  • The role of the dramaturg in development
  • Balance of power: communicating clearly and working with a director
3:00pm to 3:45 pm - Getting a producer to produce your play                   
  • Steps of development
  • What goals to set at each step
  • When do I need a lawyer?
  • How to get an agent, and do I need one?
  • Outline of a reasonable option agreement