...06-06-2006, 05:18 AM
The Actors Project NYC
Anybody hear about this organization? They're running a contest for plays. What I have read about them didn't raise any flags, and they appear to be a legit troupe trying to forge their own path in the NYC theatre world. And they also appear willing to help others somewhat.
But when I visited their website, a few things jumped out at me:
*Numerous typos/grammar snafus for a group looking to help playwrites.
*No cut-off date for the contest, which itself may not be a bad thing if they run it continuously throughout the year. But they don't state when the periodic judging ends.
*Sparse, semi-generic site. If they're a small group trying to break in themselves, I don't expect all kinds of SpFX on the site, but still...
*All of the current or past performances they've staged are at one of two or three venues, none of which ring a bell. Also maybe not be a big deal if they are an upstart troupe.
*They claim to want one-acts but will consider plays of any length.
*The prize is a production of your play. No money. Now I'd be thrilled with just having a play produced at any theatre in NYC even with no monetary prize. I even expect that from a small, seemingly new organization trying to get off the ground and help others. I'd have no problem with any of these bullet points on their own. But when you add them all together... it gave me reason to pause.
http://theactorsprojectnyc.com/wcontest.html06-06-2006, 10:42 AM
If your play is good enough to be produced it is good enough to get a fee. Why are writers expected to work for free? The production of a play without a fee for a new writer should at least include some development work, mentoring by an expert and all expenses paid. I don't know about making me suspicious but it makes me see red.
"Having been unpopular in high school is not just cause for book publication." - Fran Lebowitz06-06-2006, 11:40 AM
Full sun to light shade
Mod Squad Member
endless is right. What the troupe gets is a play to use for free. This is like those publishers' contests where the prize is publication of your book, with no advance or other royalties. With a prize like that, you're better off skipping the contest and submitting to paying markets. Same here.
__________________06-06-2006, 11:42 AM
Esteemed New Member
I've had one-acts produced around NYC, including one in The Strawberry One Act Festival. I did not 'get a fee' and if I had that as a rule, I would never have seen them go into production. That being said, I don't like entering contests that have a fee. There are plenty of places that will consider your play without expecting a check to go along with it. You may want to start with them.
-di06-06-2006, 11:50 AM
I get the vibe that the troupe has hit upon how to fund themselves: tap into the endless supply of aspiring playwrights. But I doubt the odds of being chosen after paying to be read are any better than slogging through regular channels.
CAO06-06-2006, 11:12 PM
Couldn't agree with you more regarding your statements if they were to refer to novels, or short stories, or screenplays. But I'm clueless when it comes to stage play markets. That's why I even considered this site and their contest.
Does anyone have a clue about getting a play bought/produced? And before you mention Writer's Market, most of those agents seem like they don't want to touch plays, and the ones that do seem to be such tiny agencies with little or no sales that I shy away from them. I've heard getting in with a community theatre house is the way to go, but am not sure.06-07-2006, 12:17 AM
James D. Macdonald
Get to know some people in the acting/playwriting communites and ask 'em.
__________________06-07-2006, 12:56 AM
I've checked your profile but couldn't see a location. I'm based in the UK and presume you're not, so I don't know how much use I could be. I have had a number of plays (one act & full length) produced professionally, though the first one was through a competition with a good community theatre, this included a reasonable cash prize and mentoring through a writers development agency which still continues to support me 7 years on! Without this support I wouldn't have made it into writing professionally and which is why I see schemes like this, which offer little in the way of development as especially problematic for such a colllaborative medium as playwrighting. Theatres interested in working with new writers are looking to establish long term relationships and will invest in development and mentoring. If you want, I could email you some contacts, details, schemes etc, just PM me. Most are for the UK, many theatre development programmes accept international submissions but to my mind unless you are around for the mentoring, workshops etc it wouldn't be of that much use.
Jim is right, make contact with local theatres, both commercial and community, most will have a development scheme for writers. Check out websites for national theatres to see what is on offer. The Writers and Artists Handbook is also great for theatre information. If I see anything worth applying for, which includes a development aspect, I post it on the playwrighting thread here at AW. There is some great info and support on the thread though we move at a very slow and sedate pace compared to the film lot. If you are unsure of a new project it is always worth contacting the Writers Guild for feedback, snoop about and you will soon find out whether or not it is worth your time.
Best of luck!
"Having been unpopular in high school is not just cause for book publication." - Fran Lebowitz06-07-2006, 01:07 AM
Missed this bit! I didn't have an agent for my first theatre contracts and though I have one now, I still deal with the most theatre contracts myself. Here there is a standard contract and unless you are going to have an international/national tour or complex royalties to deal with (most unlikely in my case) it is a pretty straight forward contract set up by the Guild. The most likely thing to happen is that one theatre will take your play and showcase it as the work of a new writer. I have never seen a theatre's submission details which state that submissions through an agent are necessary. This is one of the perks of writing for theatre ,they welcome the great unagented! They don't even expect us to have an agent - hurrah! The bad news is that most agents are not interested as our pay is so utterly pathetic - unhurrah.Quote:
those agents seem like they don't want to touch plays, and the ones that do seem to be such tiny agencies with little or no sales that I shy away from them. I've heard getting in with a community theatre house is the way to go, but am not sure.
"Having been unpopular in high school is not just cause for book publication." - Fran Lebowitz