FAQ

Playwrights’ Platform Frequently Asked Questions

Why Playwrights’ Platform?
Who is Playwrights’ Platform?
What do you do?
Why do you call yourselves a cooperative developmental theatre for new plays? What does that mean?
When do you meet?
Where do you meet?
When is the festival?
Where is the festival?
How do I get my play read at Playwrights’ Platform?
Do you have any submission guidelines?
How do I get my play produced by Playwrights’ Platform?
Will Playwrights’ Platform supply actors, directors, and stage crew for the festival?
Do you only accept ten-minute plays?
Once a play has been submitted to be read, can it be revised or altered between that time and its reading?
How much does it cost to become a member of Playwrights’ Platform?
If you submit a play to a festival (and there are several theaters accepting 10-minute submissions), does it have to be registered or copyrighted? How does one go about doing that?
What if my question isn’t answered here?

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Why Playwrights’ Platform?

Are you looking at this page because you’re a playwright and you’re looking for a place that will be supportive, useful, interesting, and fun? If you are, then you are the reason for Playwrights’ Platform. Simple as that.

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Who is Playwrights’ Platform?
Playwrights’ Platform is a cooperative of Boston-area playwrights who seek to nurture each others’ talents along with those of other area theater artists. Our mission is primarily to help playwrights develop their work in a supportive environment, and to help playwrights develop their skill and craft. Our membership is diverse, and includes theater professionals as well as those who approach theater as an avocation. If this sounds like what you’ve been looking for, please join us.

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What do you do?
We meet twice a month during our season, and the bulk of our meeting time is spent watching readings of new works by Platform members; after which we have an extended period of critique. In the summer, we have a festival of new works by Platform members, in which full productions of a selection of member plays are mounted.

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Why do you call yourselves a cooperative developmental theatre for new plays? What does that mean?
Let’s break it down:

Cooperative: Playwrights’ Platform is a place where playwrights pitch in to mutually support each other’s work. We offer each other critique, community, and production opportunities. We’re more of a network than a traditional production company.

Developmental: Playwrights’ Platform exists to nurture playwrights and their plays. We want to help our playwrights develop work from its earliest conception until it’s ready for the stage. We provide several rungs of the ladder for our playwrights, and we’re working on providing more.

Theatre: A theatre is a place where theater is practiced.

For new plays: New plays are at the core of our mission.

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When do you meet?

Between September and June, we generally host two meetings a month. Between June and September, we do not host any meetings, but we have a festival in June or July. See our Calendar for all our currently scheduled meeting times.

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Where do you meet?

Since 2012, we have met at Lasell College in Newton, MA. Meetings are held in the Winslow Sargent Building room 201 unless noted otherwise.

See our Meeting Address section for directions.

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When is the festival?

Typically in June or July.

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Where is the festival?

Our Festival is typically held at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. Please see our Festival Page for more information.

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How do I get my play read at Playwrights’ Platform?

You must be a member of Playwrights’ Platform before your work can be read in front of the group. Fortunately, joining Playwrights’ Platform is easy and inexpensive! Once you are a member, we recommend you attend several meetings before requesting time on our reading calendar. Then, simply request time from the Secretary, who will need to know 1) the title of the play, and 2) the time required for the reading (we expect playwrights to read their work out loud to provide an accurate estimate) – as this allows us to be sure we have sufficient time for both readings and critiques.

It will be your responsibility to find people willing to read the script at our meeting. Some of our members simply pull people out of the attendees, though this is obviously a risky approach! We are always ready to help you with actor referrals if you are stuck.

If you are new to the Platform and you have a full-length play, consider getting one act or one scene read first. This will allow you a better chance of getting scheduled, allow us to get to know you better, and allow you to get to know us better!

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Do you have any guidelines about what kinds of work you read?

We do not have any restrictions on style, subject matter, length, or number of characters. However, given our robust and prolific membership, know that time on our calendar is in demand, and usually fills up several months in advance. So you should be aware that we will have a much harder time scheduling full-length pieces than one-act plays.

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How do I get my play produced by Playwrights’ Platform?

Playwrights’ Platform is not a producing theater company. However, members do have the opportunity to submit their work for consideration to the Summer Festival. If your play is accepted into the Summer Festival, it’s on its way to getting produced! Of course there’s a catch — it’s your responsibility to round up actors, a director, rehearsal space, and everything else you will need to get the play up. We are here to help you, of course.

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Will Playwrights’ Platform supply actors, director, and rehearsal space for the festival?

No. Playwrights’ Platform supplies the venue for the festival, the publicity, lighting, sound crew, and a festival stage manager. The rest will be up to you. That said, we have a lot of contacts in the Boston theater scene, and we stand ready to assist you in finding the people you need to realize your play on stage.

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Do you only accept ten-minute plays?

No. We accept plays of any length for our Sunday night readings. It’s harder to find time on our reading schedule for longer plays, of course, so please plan ahead and request that time sooner rather than later.

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Once a play is on the reading schedule, can it be revised or altered between that time and its reading?

Absolutely! Our organization is devoted to the development process, and so there’s no worry about that. Readings aren’t performances, and you should feel free to revise your script up to and including the moment of the reading.

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How much does it cost to become a member of Playwrights’ Platform?

Membership in Playwrights’ Platform is only $40.00 for one year, and is tax-deductible. You can join today!

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If you submit a play to a festival (and there are several theaters accepting 10-minute submissions), does it have to be registered or copyrighted? How does one go about doing that?

Even though this isn’t directly related to Playwrights’ Platform, this question comes up often enough to deserve a space here. There’s no need to register your copyright, although you may wish to do so. You automatically hold the copyright over anything you create, whether you register it or not. Registration is largely a formality, unless you want to bring suit for someone infringing on your copyright, which we hardly need to worry about. The process of registering your copyright is very easy: you get a form, you fill it out, you enclose a couple of copies of the work to be registered, you write a check, and you mail it all to Washington DC; after a while you get a certificate back saying your copyright to the work has been registered. At least the forms are easy to get these days; you can just download them. Here’s a FAQ from the copyright office:

http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/

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What if my question isn’t answered here?

Not to worry. Just ask your question via email. We’ll respond promptly! And we will add your question to our FAQ page if it seems like it’s a question which should be answered on this page.

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