Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Why adopting a playwright is important

Not long ago, playwright Fin Kennedy brought a cool new scheme to my attention: the Adopt a Playwright Award, in which contributors can pool their resources to make sure at least one unsung new voice gets produced every year.

What I love about this concept is that it completely bypasses the galumphing machinery of the play selection process that is more standard – you know, the one in which a play is test-marketed as though it were a new brand of snack food.

Fin elaborated on the strengths of the program yesterday on the Guardian’s TheatreBlog – thank you, Mme. Kollodi, for leading me to this.

Read all about it, and let’s talk about what it would take to launch this here.


Cheryl said...

What a great idea. People in publishing are thinking along the same lines, like with this art book publisher in which you build a team of editors who all pitch in to publish your book: http://www.holartbooks.com/

Chris 'Frog Queen' Davis said...

Great idea. Husband and I love theater and would be thrilled to see this type of event in our area!!

I don't think I would be of any help on the project, but I am here if you need support :)


S.P. Miskowski said...

Two things about this bug me. The word "new" and (in the original piece) the word "fledgling." I've been writing plays for 17 years. I am about to go to Seattle for a reading of the most recent one, and I am not planning any more trips, or plays, after that because I can't afford it. There is no income, and lots and lots of outgo. I have been fortunate in my so-called career. I've received a few awards and fellowships. So I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for someone just starting out. But I am tired of hearing about how important it is to support new, young, young, new. It is even more important, in this juvenile nation, to support the work of mature artists who have already invested their lives and their best "earning potential" years in art, only to find themselves STILL rolling the same damn boulder up the same mountain side every single time.

When you come up with a plan to adopt old playwrights, let me know.

Natalie said...

I think this is a great idea. It works well with the micro-giving model that is working so well for campaigns and non-profits like Planned Parenthood.

If a group of artists that I trust said this is the writer we want to support for a year, I think I could give $10 a week to make sure that promising new, or financially struggling mature, artist stayed in the game.

So many people want to participate in making sure art happens, but don't feel comfortable with institutional development.

I think this could really work.

Sandra de Helen said...

Adopting a playwright is a brilliant idea, and I'd have given a limb to have that kind of support as a young writer. Not that I wouldn't love it now as well, but why not give our young artists the chance we didn't have? I mentor, I jump at every opportunity to work with kids, and do what I can, but I don't have the funds as an individual. Think what we can do as a community though!