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Wager
07-07-2013, 08:51 PM
Hello everyone!

Is it acceptable to contact an agent/agency and ask them questions before sending them a query? If it is all right, should it be done anonymously?

Background info that might explain some things: I have a list of agencies, agents and "Bühnenverlage" who all deal in theater. I have written a comedy in English and German, which has been performed by an amateur theater troop, and I would like to enclose a DVD copy of the recorded performance in the queries I will be sending out; however, not every agency accepts enclosed discs. According to some testimonies from fellow writers, some agencies accept everything from DVD copies and CVs to scanned newspaper reviews of your work, while other agencies like to keep the queries as succinct and light as possible.
(bonus question to fellow playwrights: can you send a play directly to a theater to have it performed, or does it need to be published first?)

Thanks a bunch in advance!

GinJones
07-07-2013, 08:57 PM
No. No, no, no.

Many agents have blogged about this -- just send the query. Never, ever, ever send a pre-query. Offer the DVD in the query, along with the pitch, and if they like the pitch, they'll ask for the DVD. Or if their website says it's okay to send DVDs (dunno if any exist, but perhaps within a particular niche it's done), then just send it.

But do NOT pre-query. Just follow whatever directions there are at the agent's site. Nothing more, nothing less.

cornflake
07-07-2013, 09:02 PM
Hello everyone!

Is it acceptable to contact an agent/agency and ask them questions before sending them a query? If it is all right, should it be done anonymously?

Background info that might explain some things: I have a list of agencies, agents and "Bühnenverlage" who all deal in theater. I have written a comedy in English and German, which has been performed by an amateur theater troop, and I would like to enclose a DVD copy of the recorded performance in the queries I will be sending out; however, not every agency accepts enclosed discs. According to some testimonies from fellow writers, some agencies accept everything from DVD copies and CVs to scanned newspaper reviews of your work, while other agencies like to keep the queries as succinct and light as possible.
(bonus question to fellow playwrights: can you send a play directly to a theater to have it performed, or does it need to be published first?)

Thanks a bunch in advance!

This may be a language issue, but I'm not sure what you mean by 'send a play to a theatre to have it performed.'

Do you mean can you engage/rent a theatre and put on a show? Yes, if the theatre is for rent and you have actors, director, etc.

Do you mean can you ask an established theatre troupe if it wishes to perform your work? Depending on the troupe and what they do, what they perform, what their guidelines are, maybe; you'd have to contact the director or manager or whatever and ask how they find works and if they'd be open to reviewing yours.

If you mean something else, please clarify.

As to the rest, see Gin's response above.

James D. Macdonald
07-07-2013, 10:32 PM
How does one go about sending an anonymous query or pre-query?

I would think that the pre-query actually is the query, which should be in the form that the agent specifies for a query, and include the line, "A DVD of a performance of this play by [name of troupe] is available."

If they're interested they'll get back to you.

Thedrellum
07-09-2013, 06:31 AM
Most theaters have websites that describe their process for dealing with submissions. Many of them will take unsolicited playscripts, and they detail exactly how to submit. As with any sort of unsolicited submission, most of those playscripts get ignored.

In my experience, publication -- in terms of magazines -- has little to nothing to do with getting a theater to perform your play. If your play is taken up by a company like Samuel French, then they are the ones generally responsible for getting your play out to theaters.