Success is a Choice

Following up on last week’s blog, I want to reiterate the above: SUCCESS IS A CHOICE.

Do you want to be a successful playwright? Then hang out with successful playwrights. Put yourself in the company of producers and artistic directors – then make friends with them. I encourage everyone to network both online and in person as much as possible.

Do what winners do and you will be a winner as well.

Wait! You say you do that, and you’re still not being produced? Is there anything else?

Yes. Commit to taking ACTION.

Schedule Time to Submit Your Plays  

You can’t say you’re doing everything unless you are doing the following on a regular routine basis:

  • Join the Dramatist Guild and look over their submission calendar weekly
  • Subscribe to Play Submissions Helper. Check it weekly as well.
  • Join the Playwright Binge email group at Read the emails.
  • Set a goal of _____ submissions each week/month (the number must be realistic for you)
  • Make it your business to achieve that goal weekly.

As a successful playwright you must find time in your day to both write new work and promote your existing scripts as much as possible, on a regular routine basis that works for you.

Make a plan. If you schedule time to do this routinely, chances are that you will.

Create Systems to Make Life Easier

I organize all of my work in Dropbox. You may prefer Google Drive, hard-drive files on your laptop, or some other organizing tool that I’m not aware of. Just make it work for you.

  1. Set up online files for each play to submit:
    • Text of your script as a pdf
    • Blind copy of your script as a pdf
    • Your bio (both long and short)
    • Production History
    • Previous director bios and cast rosters
    • Set and Production Requirements
    • Casting Breakdown
    • MP3 files (if a musical)
    • Possibly short samples of your script (add when a theater requests your first 20 pages, for example)
    • Photos
    • Reviews, Recommendations and Testimonials
    • Awards, grants and sponsorships
    • Recordings of readings, cabarets, concerts and showcases (add full-length and edited versions)
    • Sizzle Reel
    • Marketing graphics: logos, marketing copy, etc.
    • Legal Paperwork (contracts, LOAs, publishing documents, etc.)
  2.  Create a Submission Tracking Sheet for each play (excel)
    • Dates of submission
    • Theater
    • Contact Information
    • Track communications and replies
  3. Create a Productions Tracking Sheet to track productions in excel
    • Production Dates
    • Theaters
    • Producers and Artistic Directors
    • Contact Sheet listing creative team, producing team and cast

As you add to your information, keep it ready and accessible in your online folder to make future submissions as easy – just reach into the file and attach the documents to the submission.

Licensing Your Script

Regular licensing agreements were typically after an Off-Broadway run or a NYC non-profit run. You should still submit to the major licensing houses. Below is from an article written by Kaelyn Barron:

  1. Theatrical Rights Worldwide
  2. Broadway Play Publishing
  3. Heartland Plays
  4. Pioneer Drama Service
  5. Eldridge Plays and Musicals
  6. Brooklyn Publishers
  7. Off-the-Wall Plays
  8. Plays Inverse Press
  9. Scripts for Stage
  10. Stageplays
  11. Hominum Journal
  12. Gemini Magazine
  13. Silk Road
  14. The Courtship of Winds
  15. The Playwrights Publishing Company
  16. Smith Scripts

Concord Theatricals and Playscripts Inc. accept submissions from agents or literary managers only.

However, you could also try to self-publish through Kindle Direct or promoting your script through ACCT (American Association of Community Theaters). You should definitely also join the New Play Exchange and create an author page for yourself and your plays to be discovered by regional theaters and others. 

Always Be Pitching

Where else can your plays be constantly pitching themselves?

  • YouTube promos on your own channel
  • Your Website
  • Social Media accounts

Submit your work everywhere. Memorize your pitch and network.

If you’re a writer, you write. But you also must promote. 

Hey, if it were easy everyone would do it. I hope this helps!