What should I do with my play?
June 27, 2006 2:50 PM   Subscribe

I've written a play. What should I do with it?

After having written many one-acts in college, I've just completed my first full-length play. A staged reading was just held, and the play was very well-received. Unfortunately, the actors--university students--won't be available to turn the reading into a proper production any time soon.

I've spent most of my time writing fiction, so I don't have much of a relationship with local or remote theatre groups or the like.

I am quite happy with the play, and would love to see it staged somewhere. I'd also like to send it into any playwriting competitions or new works festivals to which it might apply. Any suggestions?

If it matters, the piece is in an absurdist vein; was described by the reading's director as 'Sam Shepard meets Samuel Beckett.' Also, in case it makes a difference, I am an American currently residing in England.
posted by scarylarry to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Have a look at the calendar section of BBC Writers' Room. There are often submission calls for stageplays there.

How old are you? I'm not sure what the dates are, but the Royal Court Theatre has an annual competition for young writers.
posted by popcassady at 3:13 PM on June 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Hey, thanks for the tips, popcassady. I'll look into both. And I'm 23.
posted by scarylarry at 3:15 PM on June 27, 2006

Definitely send it to the BBC, they read every script that gets sent for potential radio production. On top of that, they are always running competitions and workshops for aspiring writers. Have a look around the BBC website.
posted by fire&wings at 3:45 PM on June 27, 2006

If it were one act, I would suggest the closest Fringe festival (Edinburgh, London?), but they usually have pretty tight time limits. But Fringe festivals are quite open to new works.
posted by jb at 4:49 PM on June 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Check out writer's magazines (such as Poets & Writer's or AWP Writer) for tons of writing contests. You'll sometimes find them in their own section in the back of the magazine, sometimes in the ads on the main magazine pages. If other veins fail, I have several friends who wrote their own plays and did stage them at a uni (with real tickets and everything!). I know they're all out for the summer, but if all else fails, that's usually the most receptive venue (and audience).
posted by theantikitty at 5:32 PM on June 27, 2006

Best answer: A Fringe Festival was my first thought too. The play sounds, based solely on your description, like perfect Fringe fodder. Since it's likely too late to get into a festival this year, I suggest going, and polling playwrights on the subject. I know nothing about how theater works in England, but I imagine that, say, London, might have some aspiring actors kicking about, and probably small spaces dying for a show. Perhaps you could look into somewhere likeThe Playwright's Center. I believe there are similar organizations across the US and possibly Britian. Sorry to be Minneapolis-centric on this one, but that's all I know.
posted by fantastic at 7:06 PM on June 27, 2006

Er, uh, go to a Fringe Festival, not necessarily Minneapolis, though it is the biggest in North America.
posted by fantastic at 7:09 PM on June 27, 2006

Write at least seven more before you show it to anybody. Save yourself a lot of embarrassment.
posted by zackdog at 12:27 AM on June 28, 2006

If I'm not mistaken, AstroZombie, a MeFi member, has written a few plays and had them produced. You might contact him directly for some tips if he doesn't chime in.
posted by Atom12 at 6:58 AM on June 28, 2006

Best answer: The Soho Theatre has a writers' centre, if you send your script to them, they will read and critique it, and "emerging new talents may be invited to take to take part in other programmes as appropriate," this would presumably include their well-regarded writers' programme. You may also be interested in the Royal Court Young Writers' Programme.
posted by featherboa at 7:42 AM on June 28, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks, everybody, for your many and varied suggestions. I sort of want to mark them all 'best answer,' but that would look silly. I look forward to researching these leads.
posted by scarylarry at 10:31 AM on June 28, 2006

My only suggestion, being a stage manager and a crew member for an original play or 3, is DON'T DIRECT IT YOURSELF.... allow for the creative process to take place, through the interpretation of the director and the cast. One of my worst gig's was SM'ing a show that the author also directected- it was a gruelling task. I've also been SM for shows that the playwright was involved in the rehearsal process and would get to the point where the director and playwright were at extreme odds as how to present a scene, or the tone at which something was said.... if I had a choice, I'd avoid those situations. And suggest that you take that into consideration as things move forward. Good luck.
posted by TuxHeDoh at 10:37 AM on June 28, 2006

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