My short play “It Doesn’t” will be performed the 3rd & 4th week of October until 1st week of November at Power Mac Spotlight, Makati, Philippines. If you are in the area I would love to hear how it went.
Each year, our Summer Festival of New Plays culminates in Audience Choice Awards, where audience members identify their selections for Best Play, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Director. For our 2016 Festival, the winners are…
Best play: DOG PARK AFTERNOON by Nancy Temple
Best director: Diana Kerry, THEATRE PEOPLE
Best actress: Gloria Papert, THEATRE PEOPLE
Best actor: Eric Skoglund, DOG PARK AFTERNOON
Best play: WATER by Greg Hovanesian
Best director: Haris Leferti, WATER
Best actress: Kathleen Henderson, NO DOMINION
Best actor: Greg Hovanesian, WATER
Thanks to all of our audience members who shared their picks. Congrats to all the winners. And to everyone who made this another terrific season of new plays with the Playwrights’ Platform!
We are also excited to share the release of a new book, edited by Board Chair Hortense Gerardo, featuring nine of the plays from this year’s festival. Now available at Amazon.com.
The 44th Annual Playwrights’ Platform Festival collection of new plays features nine winning shorts included in their Annual Festival of New Plays. Each year in March a committee of at least three independent evaluators including the producer selects a vibrant variety of member scripts to be produced in their annual June showcase. This collection features plays by Patti Cassidy, Charlie Edwin Fisher, Hortense Gerardo, Lawrence Hennessy, Greg Hovanesian, Margie Semilof, George Smart, David Susman and Nancy Temple, with a foreword by Playwrights’ Platform President, Stefan Lanfer.
We are pleased to announce the plays and playwrights for our 44th Annual Festival of New Plays!
1. FAST CASUAL by David Susman
2. WATER by Greg Hovanesian
3. SAVING FACE by Margie Semilof
4. THE DEBT by Charlie Edwin Fisher
5. DEATH IN VENICE BEACH by Hortense Gerardo
6. PITCHFEST by Patti Cassidy
7. DOG PARK AFTERNOON by Nancy Temple
8. NEMATODES by Ron Radice
9. IT’S ALL CRAP by George Smart
10. THE SISTERS by Sherri Stepakoff
11. THEATRE PEOPLE by Jack Rushton
12. NO DOMINION by Lawrence “Nick” Hennessey
A terrific mix of work by both new and veteran members, comedies, dramas, and everything in between. The Festival will be held over the first weekend in June at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. Stay tuned (here on our blog and on our Festival Page) for details about which plays will be on which nights and how to buy tickets.
Congrats, playwrights! We can’t wait to see your work come alive on stage.
- FemNoire 2015 festival
- Silver Springs Stage Co
- ATHE New Play Development Series
- Winthrop School of Performing Arts
- MBL Club
- Piney Forks at the New York Public Library
- Aberdeen, Scotland
- Boston Theatre Marathon XVII (two entries by members!)
- A documentary film version of one member’s short story, which had been published in the the “REMEMBER US!” compilation book was premiered before the United Nations in NYC
- A Packard Foundation Writing Residency at the Lemon Tree House, Tuscany, Italy
- A Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship in Dramatic Writing
- A workshop on marketing tips for playwrights with Pat Gabridge.
- Another great workshop on craft with Kate Snodgrass – on great endings of great plays
- New members
- New actors in our resident actors company
- Packed houses for three nights at our 43rd annual festival of new plays
- The first-ever publication of a compilation of new works in the festival.
My what a year!
Happy New year to all!
Here’s to breaking more legs in 2016…
Each year, an independent reading committee selects a vibrant collection of member scripts to be produced in our annual festival. These new short plays include comedies and dramas that directed and performed by local artists, including many from our talented Actors-in-Residence program. In concert with our June, 2015 festival - our 43rd (!) – are thrilled to offer a published compilation of eight of the nine short plays, now available via Amazon.com, at: http://tinyurl.com/qy3kjbe.
Since 1972, the Playwrights’ Platform has been helping Boston-area playwrights hone their craft, and advance their work from page to stage. At twice-monthly meetings during the academic year, our members gather to hear unrehearsed readings of new works, and to share reactions, critiques, and ideas. This book represents our first-ever publication, and the Platform extends its gratitude to Hortense Gerardo, Honorary Board Chair and one of this year’s featured playwrights, for the initiative and leadership in bringing this idea to fruition.
All proceeds from sales of this book directly support the Playwrights’ Platform. We are an all-volunteer nonprofit that depends each year on membership fees, donations, and festival ticket sales to raise our modest operating budget. All of our meetings are free and open to the public. Visitors and new members are always welcome.
Thank you for your investment in new theatre! We hope you enjoy these plays as much as we have.
“The best thing you can do for your own career is help others.” – Pat Gabridge
At our January 25th meeting, Playwrights’ Platform members were treated to a terrific talk and discussion with Boston Playwright, Pat Gabridge, on strategies to more effectively market and promote our work. As highlights, I offer the Playwright’s Three P’s:
Be present (and patient)
Effective networking and relationship building means being present and accounted for (both in person and virtually) as much as possible. Patrick highlighted several of the many opportunities to do this in Boston, like at StageSource’s Boston Theatre Conference, Boston Theatre Marathon, New Play Alliance, HowlRound’s #newplay Twitter chats, and attending lots of local theatre. And when you go, be accounted for. Tweet about it. Go during previews and opening nights, when you can meet and engage with directors and production teams after the show. Tell them what you liked about their work. Patrick also reminded us to be patient. Developing relationships that open doors for a playwright’s work takes time. It’s like dating, he said. You can’t go too fast. Don’t start by pitching your script. Start with coffee, conversation, building connection.
Be positive, a force for new plays
When you’re out there, engaging, and being present, be positive about other’s work. One example Patrick gave was social media, where he recommended maintaining at least 7:1 balance, where, for every one piece of news you share about yourself and your own work, you should be sharing seven or more that are you engaging, commenting, praising, and promoting other’s new work. “The best thing you can do for your career,” Patrick encouraged us all, “is to help others” and be a positive force for new plays.
Be perspicacious about those submission piles
Theatre is a relationship business. So, there’s no beating being present, personal, positive, and active in your local theatre community. Yet, even when submitting to far flung contests, festivals, and theatres, there are ways a playwright can increase their odds. Patrick talked us through the critical four (which he also blogged about at: “What are the Playwriting Odds (and the 4 ways writers can improve their chances)):
- Write better plays.
- Enter the right piles.
- Enter smaller piles.
- Enter more piles.
Our thanks to Patrick for a terrific discussion, and reminder of what an exciting time it is to be a playwright in Boston.
Last night, for the Holiday Party portion of our final meeting of 2014, we were treated to five one-minute Holiday plays – a growing tradition at Playwright’s Platform. Here’s a recap…
From Nick Hennesey, a New Year’s Eve countdown of unrequited love, because of his love, not for another her, but him–self, that is (and the power of suggestion is strong!).
From Vickie Meagher, A Christmas hacking of a reclusive superstar’s Twitter account, for the best gift ever to his #1 fan – a direct message.
From Marika Barnett, the post-holiday party, middle-of-the-night pillow talk of an amorous couple that turns out not to be–a couple (but he can hope).
From Margie Semilof, a last minute shopping encounter, Christmas Eve, at a hardware store, where the surly cashier turns therapist.
From Sandra Weintraub, a Christmas Eve confrontation between Santa Klaus and his irate wife, who knows what that scoundrel is REALLY up to every year at this time, and has had enough. Hand over that GPS, buster, or else…!
All in all, a terrific, creative, fun finale to a full year of playwriting. On my way back to the city from Lasell College on the T, I started thinking back on other playwriting highlights of 2014 for the Platform and its members. With some help this morning from Google to fill in the details, here is our 2014 by the numbers…
- 31 active members
- 44 actors in residence
- Our 42nd Festival, with 16 new plays, many receiving their world premiere performances
- 17 meetings with dozens and dozens of new play readings and thoughtful critiques
- 3 members with work featured in the Boston Theatre Marathon
- 2 members with work in SLAMBoston’s Winter Edition and 2 in the Spring
- 1 member with 2 plays in the Hovey Players Summer Shorts Festival and 1 with 1 in Company Theatre’s premiere annual Winter Shorts
- 1 re-launch of Boston’s only web video series of new play readings – Boston Play Café
- Another terrific private workshop with BU and Boston Playwright Theatre’s Kate Snodgrass – this year on what makes the opening pages of great plays great. Here’s my recap and three key takeaways: “Great Beginnings”
All that and more I certainly missed. Congrats and thanks to all for another great year of helping playwrights go from the page to the stage.