My word, there really are some amazing coincidences in this modern world of ours, aren’t there? As I discussed yesterday Thom Yorke, of popular beat combos Radiohead and Atoms for Peace, has been criticising the royalty revenues that come from the music streaming service, Spotify. He thinks they’re too low, […]
"Marketing chick works because it allows us to harness hundreds of years of denigrating necessary social work by relegating that work to women. The marketing chick has all those soft skills that patriarchy has taught us are undesirable, less useful, less expensive, less valuable, women’s work. “
A response to: The Peculiar Joys of a Bad Script by Dylan Southard
Very rarely does a blog post make my blood boil. But a recent post on Howlround.com has compelled me to write a blog entry of my own. I can’t say I speak for all readers or all playwrights, and I certainly do not speak for my employer, but I can speak from my experiences. (Bare with me — blogging is not my core writing competency.)
As a former reader, current playwright and active theater professional — I am the Marketing Director of an awesome play publishing company— I thought it was important for theater professionals, playwright in-particular, to hear the way respectful theaters, and individuals conduct their reading and submission processes. I can’t say that I was ever handed a rulebook anywhere but there are a few things Mr. Southard missed about reading scripts.
1. You are one person, and your opinion can be “wrong” even if you’re paid for it. (Lots of theaters and programs have multiple readers for this reason.)
2. You are not a critic. Calling a script bad or good isn’t your job. Your job is to see if the script your reading fits the theater’s needs.
3. Don’t judge a script by it’s cover or it’s title. (Skip the title on the first read.)
4. A wonderful teacher once told me that Romulus Linney said death was one of the only worthy subjects to write about. (So, I don’t think that subject is unique to, what Mr. Southard calls, mediocre scripts.)
5. It may be submission #302 to you, but there is a real person out there waiting to hear back. Some people lock their scripts in filing cabinets, but the script you’re about to read came from a brave playwright who actually sent it out.
6. Don’t assume anything about the script. Make decisions only after you’ve read it.
7. Keep rejection letters honest. Don’t tell a playwright a play doesn’t fit “at this time” if there is no time in the foreseeable future you plan on producing the script.
8. Playwriting is an art, and commercial theater is a business. Sometimes these things will be at odds and will make your decision making process VERY difficult.
I’ve stepped off the soap box, and my blood has cooled down.