One of the panel sessions at The Dramatists Guild conference, entitled “How a Play Starts; How It Stops,” intrigued me for a bit, but I selected “Turning the Political or Historical Into the Theatrical” instead. That was excellent, but the first might have been better for me because I can't stop thinking and writing about the conference. There was so much good stuff laid out there for the picking.
My solution? I am simply going to write down random tips from the panels I attended and some I did not to give a sense of what the conference offered. (Some sessions were live streamed, so you could connect with them via The Dramatists Guild website).
- On writing history: Ask yourself, “Why must this story be told today?”
- Incidental music: If the music is an author’s requirement, usage fees are the author’s cost; if it is a suggestion, it is the producer’s cost. (And the producer can use it or not.) Be careful. It is possible for a user to be sued for using a mere three seconds of copyrighted music.
- How To Use Vector Theory to Structure Your Plot is a matter of identifying the positive and negative forces your protagonists and antagonists posses. Interesting. Cynthia Joyce Clay explained during her panel and all in her book Vector Theory and the Plot Structures of Literature and Drama.
- Samuel French soon will have a self-publishing service on its website.
- The New Play Exchange (NPX), a new place to share your work, already is up and running. Check out NEWPLAYEXCHANGE.ORG. It’s for playwrights, lyricists, composers, devisers, adaptors and translators. NPX also serves dramaturges, managers, producers, directors, designers and actors. Theaters, development organizations, contests, festivals and universities can use its services too. Minimal annual charge.
- Playwrights should create a one-sentence mission statement for themselves and build their own brand using social media.
- Some playwrights blanket hundreds of theatres with their scripts, others select a handful to get to know well and “court” them to use their plays.