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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What is the 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 three times a month during our season, and most of our meeting time is spent watching readings of new works by Platform members.   Each play that is read receives a ten-minute feedback session, where attending playwrights, actors and directors offer critique and suggestions .  In June we host our annual festival of new works by Platform members, in which we mount full productions of a selection of member plays.

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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 come to mutually support each other’s work. We offer each other critique, community, and production opportunities. We’re a network of playwrights, not a 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?

From September to June, we host three meetings a month, two at Lasell College and one at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. Between June and September, we generally host 1 meeting per month, at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre.  We also have a festival, typically at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, in June. See our Calendar for all our currently scheduled meeting times.

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Where do you meet?

We typically meet on two Sunday nights a month at Lasell College in Newton, MA. Meetings are held in the Winslow Sargent Building room 201 unless noted otherwise.

We also usually meet on one weeknight a month at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, located at 949 Comm. Ave.

See our Meeting Address section for directions.

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When is the festival?

Our festival is held in June.  See above.

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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.

The Playwrights’ Platform is home to an Actors-in-Residence program (AIR).  This wonderful group of talented actors dedicate their time to helping playwrights’ develop new plays by reading their works.  Playwrights are welcome to invite any actor of their choosing to read, whether it be someone from the Actors in Residence program or someone the playwright knows personally.  In the case that the playwright is unable to find enough actors to read for their play, members of the audience are usually willing to fill in as readers to ensure that the show go on.

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. Please 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 Playwrights’ Platform Festival of New Plays. 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 many contacts in the Boston theater scene, as well as access to  resources that will help you to find the people you need to realize your play on stage.  Our Actors-in-Residence (AIR) program is a great place to start making connections.

 

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Do you only accept ten-minute plays?

No. We accept plays of any length for our 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 a bring a suit for someone infringing on your copyright. The process of registering your copyright is pretty easy: just visit the U.S. Copyright Office website, set up an account, and upload your PDF.  The cost is $35.  You get an emailed receipt immediately: you will receive your copyright certificate in about 9 months.   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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