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 Posted: Sun Dec 7th, 2008 09:15 pm
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Steve Patterson
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Mana: 
It always pays to read the fine print.  Always.  To wit, a recent experience I had while researching submission opportunities.

There's a play festival in Denver called something like the Red Rocks Playwrights Showcase, and they're soliciting scripts for workshop/readings during the festival, which also included forums, workshops, lectures, schmoozing, and the usual festival activities.  They're asking $5.00 per submission, which crossed it off my list, but, reflexively, I read the other requirements, in case they suited a playwright friend or something, and came up with this: if your play is accepted, you have to register for the festival.  One day is around $35 to $40, in advance it's $100 to $135...something like that.  I figured if your play was accepted, they'd waive the registration fee, but something in the back of my neck was tingling, so I wrote them, asking.  They responded quickly, were very pleasant, and explained that, if your play is chosen, they refund the $5.00 submission fee, but you still have to pay to register for the festival.  Which means they effectively have a submission fee of up to $135, and they're not paying you for your pay nor providing travel, room & board, or per diem.  This especially disappointed me since they're advertising the festival in conjunction with Curious Theatre Company, which is a member of the National New Play Network (and who, by the way, just changed their submission policies so they're no longer accepting any unagented contacts), which is a group designed to foster the development of new work.

I talked with the Dramatists Guild about this, and, essentially, for a festival, they can do whatever they want, and let the buyer (or playwright) beware. 

So the upshot is: read the fine print before you submit.  It'd be tragic to have a play accepted and then suddenly realize you have to pony up double-digits or more to have it produced.


Fortunately, there are other festivals out there that have more generous submission policies.

Best,

Steve

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 Posted: Mon Dec 8th, 2008 02:40 am
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castlecat7
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Mana: 
Well spotted Steve.

Thanks for the heads up.

 

Paul T

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 Posted: Thu Dec 11th, 2008 01:55 am
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kris
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Mana: 
Thanks, Steve. I actually had planned to enter despite the $5 fee (and required four copies) because my first short play was read at the Playwrights Showcase of the Western Region in 2004, and so I have a soft spot for that festival. Plus, in 2004, which was the inaugural showcase, entry was free and the festival did pick up the tab for its playwrights -- I had no idea that would not be the case this year, and I wholeheartedly thank you for potentially saving me money I would not have wanted to spend. It pays to read not only the fine print, but the postings on this forum.

kris

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 Posted: Thu Dec 11th, 2008 04:16 am
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Steve Patterson
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Glad I helped out, even though I'm sorry they changed their policy.

S

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 Posted: Thu Dec 11th, 2008 12:54 pm
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Proboscisbunny
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Mana: 
Along the same lines...I saw this on playbill and was all ready to submit until I saw the $25 fee! It wasn't listed on Playbill nor thier website, it wasn't until I clicked on the application that I saw the fee...

It seems the fees will pay for the production...no thanks...

http://www.playbill.com/jobs/find/job_detail/24438.html

Vanessa

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 Posted: Thu Dec 11th, 2008 03:06 pm
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Steve Patterson
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Mana: 
Ah, they "treat everyone like family."  Sounds like an expensive family to belong to.

S

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 Posted: Thu Dec 11th, 2008 07:52 pm
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Proboscisbunny
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Mana: 
Right! It reminds me of all them folks in college who paid for friends...Sororities and Fraternities... I got my friends for free :)

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 Posted: Wed Dec 17th, 2008 10:07 pm
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kris
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Mana: 
I never thought I'd find myself in the position of defending the Greek system. Although I was in a sorority, I "deactivated" at the end of my sophomore year. I liked that word. It made me feel powerful, as if I were a timebomb that had been defused. And, truly, I'm not defending the Greeks in particular but the right of any group not to be stereotyped or painted in a single color or perceived in one dimension. I'm sure you wouldn't pronounce all blacks lazy or all Republicans greedy or all people who ride dressage (myself included) snobs. Would you? So why characterize the thousands and thousands of people in the Greek system as having to pay for friendship? My son is in a fraternity that counts Will Ferrell and John Elway among its alums. Do you honestly think Will Ferrell ever had to buy his friends? I think we do humanity a huge disservice when we issue blanket statements that often are based on little more than our own pique. Were you snubbed by some Kappas? Stood up by a Phi Delt? Whatever. We as writers have a special responsibility to choose our words carefully and not contribute to the stereotypes and divisions that threaten society. To me, making any generalizations about any "class"  or group bespeaks a huge failure of the imagination, which should be our stock in trade.  Ideally, we see people as individuals, not members of this or that group.

kris

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 Posted: Thu Dec 18th, 2008 12:26 am
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Edd
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Mana: 
"We as writers have a special responsibility to choose our words carefully and not contribute to the stereotypes and divisions that threaten society."

The above should be embroidered and hung above the desk of every playwright.

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 Posted: Thu Dec 18th, 2008 01:54 am
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Steve Patterson
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Mana: 
I agree with your statement, but...embroidered?

There's kind of an interesting space one gets into, though--I'm probably thinking of it because I'm going to be dealing with it as I begin to expose people to a new play I've written--where the people you write about are bigoted but, like most of us, not all bad (just as few us may be sweet and generous but not pure saints), and sometimes if you try and write about someone like that as a whole person, some audiences will assume you're somehow agreeing with their speech.  Not the case with this play at all, but I'm also not trying to cast them as spawn of the devil--you can like someone even if you think some of their opinions are stark bonkers (I have a number of friends who shall remain nameless).  It's a funny area to delve in.

And, if occurs to me, has absolutely nothing to do with what we're talking about, so I'll shut up.  It was just on my mind.

S

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 Posted: Thu Dec 18th, 2008 02:03 am
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Edd
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Mana: 
Embroidered, yes.  Sorry.  Some little old lady must have jumped into my body for a moment or two.  So many do you know--jump in, jump out--leaving me holding the bag or, in this case--the embroidery.  :>)


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 Posted: Thu Dec 18th, 2008 02:44 am
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in media res
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Mana: 
Hester Prynne had a Scarlet "A" embroidered on her chest.

That is good company.



best,

in media res

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