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:
"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?