Saturday, March 17, 2007

Hello? Is there anybody out there? An anxious playwright needs to know!

I've been submitting my plays as playwrights are expected to do, to various theatres and/or competitions. It is with hope in my heart each and every time I let go of one of a literary offspring that it will be greeted with respect and awe. Heavy emphasis on the awe.

It's not that I expect an instantaneous response because I realize and comprehend that theatre people lead busy lives. I think I speak (or write) for most playwrights reading this that an interim response would be most appreciated by playwrights. Something to the effect: 'dear playwright. We've received your play and are in the process of evaluating and making a decision.' Or, 'dear playwright. Thank you for submitting (always an omen of the dreaded next sentence to follow) to the blah-blah theatre but unfortunately your play has not been selected.' However, it's the dreaded silence that hurts and irks the most.

Each and every day the e-mail and snail-mail is checked in the hope that the fate of the play has been decided. The waiting period is enough to make a person turn to drink (as if playwrights need a reason)! What is an appropriate amount of time to allow for a decision? Two months...six months...longer?

Thing is - I'm neurotic and my imagination runs riot wondering what's happening at the "other end." Plays are read and re-read and I berate myself upon finding a misspelled word or an extra line between dialogue or a missing letter. What happens if "they" fault playwrights for grammatical errors or omissions?

"Uh-oh!" a reader - a stranger- hired to decide whether a play is suitable, might comment upon spotting a missing 'a' or 'e' and other letters. "This playwright didn't take enough time to proof her play. Too bad because it's really good!"

On occasion I have whipped off an e-mail to a theatre accompanied by a corrected and edited copy:

Dear blah-blah,

"Don't know how it happened but I sent you the wrong copy of my play," I will write them. "Please disregard the other copy and use the new one attached."

Even the closing of the e-mail suddenly takes on importance. Should it be: "thanks" in the way of a friendly or casual closure or "thank you" indicating a serious tone? My full name or my first name? Serious decisions, these!

Most recently I sent a followup... I lie. I sent three followups requesting any type of news. The latest one said:

"Hate to be a pain and/or pest but... Could you please let me know one way or the other, as to the fate of my play, "Gin: An Allegory for Playing the Game of Life" submitted to you by e-mail. Any type of update would be most appreciated."

So now I wait...and wait...and wait but then don't we all?

1 comment:

Al McCartan said...

M'dear Scribess
Oh fie! How we are treated. Fain I wouldst take these tardy knaves and toss them into ye Avon, yea verily.
Thou art still writing and waiting. Shame on them, I say, shame.

As thou canst see, I have eschewed the nomencalture of Willyum Shookaspear to something more modern.

I too have tried this magic callest thou it, email and i'truth, keep getting a strange answer, to wit, "cannot sendeth, fatal error, address not known'. I eschew such magic. Thus I have asked my Anne Hathaway to go to yon garden to gather snails for sending to London. Snail mail dist thou not say?

Tis strange, 'pon my word, 'tis strange. The snails are far to small and by my blood, cannot carry paper. I fearest most foul things may happen upon their journey. Thrushes abound this time of the year - psst! remindeth me to pen a sonnet on the thrush - and do not the merry thrush love to sup on snail? the humble snail shouldst perish and my plays be scattered abroad or worse, picked up by Francis Bacon. For shame, mistress Scribess for shame.

As we have just celebrated the Ides of March. I have penned a missive to the Director of the Globe asking, wheist my Historie of Julius Caesar, long sent by messenger. I too, seek an answer. Aye marry, to no avail.

Verily, I say to thee, patience, forsooth it shalt happen.
Likest thou my new ID. Methinks it's fitting as I now dwelleth over the seas.

Cheers He who used to be Willyum Shookaspear.