November 1, 2009
Margaret Baldwin guides the cast through rehearsal, a First Draft On Demand Reading of her play in progress NIGHT BLOOMS.
HANDBOOK Welcome to Working Title Playwrights (WTP)! Our goal is to provide all playwrights with the opportunity to excel: by helping them tell their stories for the stage, fostering the development of well-crafted plays, and increasing the visibility of theatre in the community. WTP works with playwrights, directors, dramaturges, actors, audiences, theatres and theatre organizations to help writers create their plays. We offer readings, educational seminars and opportunities for playwrights to see and hear their work onstage in its earliest stages and when it's ready for a full production by a theatre. We also help our playwrights understand the process of promoting their plays and serve as a clearinghouse for theatres that are interested in new work.
2008 staged reading of Daphne Mintzâ€™s IN LIEU OF FLOWERS.
WTP has several ongoing programs that help affiliates develop and strengthen their playwriting skills. For descriptions of each, turn the page!
We make new plays happen ... by developing playwrights.
Table of Contents
What people are saying ...
Monday Night Critique Sessions (MNCS)
I really benefitted from the WTP reading and the feedback. The cast did a wonderful job jumping into a cold read, and (the) moderation kept the feedback session swift, focused, and alive. Having been away from the script for several months - hearing the thing whole helped me see where the holes are, and kick start my writing process again ... What a great service to playwrights! - Margaret Baldwin
First Draft On Demand Reading Series (FDOD) 4 The Ethel Woolson Lab (TEWL) 5 Playwright Slams! Playwrights & ...
Educational Programs 7 Board, Staff and History
To become a WTP member: Send $100 in check or money order payable to WTP, P.O. Box 585, Decatur, Georgia 30030-0585 If paying by credit card, send $110 via Paypal to email@example.com. For more information, please call 404.441.2716
WTP, by giving voice to area playwrights, is helping to keep theater alive. - Mark Perloe I just want to say “thank you” to WTP for one of the best, most fun, most productive, most stimulating weeks of my life as a playwright. I had the best cast and absolutely the best director: they are smart and talented and fearless and brought so much to the process of rewriting a play that I don’t want to do it any other way. EVER. I highly recommend it! - Kim Brundidge I can't tell you guys how much the support, encouragement, and critical insight I've received from the WTP family means to me. ... Thank you all - Raymond Fast I really enjoyed the session last night. It was magical and really motivated me. - Tiffany Parks WTP is like B.A.S.F. It doesn’t make playwrights, it makes playwrights better. - Robert Drake
Support your local playwright! Working Title Playwrights is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization incorporated in the State of Georgia, County of Dekalb. Membership is $100 annually. Other ways of supporting the most inclusive, expansive playwright organization in the Southeast are: • Goodsearch - a pay per click search engine that gives WTP a penny per click! Go to www.goodsearch.com and dedicate Working Title Playwrights as your non-prof charity of choice! • Goodshop - from the Goodsearch folks, Goodshop provides a percentage of your total purchase price from dozens of online vendors such as iTunes, Amazon, eBay, Container Store, Office Depot, Target, Home Depot and more! • Donate supplies - paper and ink are what we use the most. • Donate services - are you an actor adept at cold readings? do you have marketing skills? we could use the help! • Donate money - We operate on about $20,000 annually and your gift is fully tax deductible. • Be a part of our audience! We offer everything from cold readings in critique sessions to staged readings for the public. Audience feedback is an essential part of the play development process and your participation is highly regarded by the playwrights.
2009 Martin Luther King Jr Celebration MNCS.
MNCS Rules of Engagement: 1) There must be no indication of authorship on your scripts other than the number preassigned to you for the evening. 2) Highlight on every copy of your script only those stage directions to be read aloud. 3) 12 point font must be used. 4) Type only on one side of each page and number those pages. 5) If you have specific questions to be asked of the audience, bring them in on a separate typed piece of paper and give it to the moderator at the top of the session along with your scripts.
Monday Night Critique Sessions (MNCS) This is our basic play-development program. On the first and third Mondays of each month we meet to hear works in progress. Affiliate Playwrights may bring in one or more short works, or an excerpt of a longer work. The piece(s) will be read aloud and receive professionally moderated feedback. WTP obtains professional actors for each Monday evening session, up to four, depending on the number of pieces to be read and casting requirements. If we don't have enough actors to cast a given piece, the other playwrights in attendance – many of whom are also actors – fill in. Affiliate Playwrights receive a notice of each upcoming MNCS by e-mail, a week in advance. To arrange to have work read, a playwright needs to: • Notify by e-mail the Managing Artistic Director (or designee) they have work to be read. • Establish how many pages to be read. • Identify casting needs in terms of age / race / gender (any / all / none as applicable).
The deadline for responding is Tuesday at noon, before the Monday session. If fewer than four playwrights have work to bring in, the session may be canceled. Please note: Staying on point is essential in order to give constructive feedback on each piece presented in the mere 2.5 hours dedicated to doing the work. In 2007, WTP instilled a resident moderator to facilitate all MNCS and First Draft On Demand readings. We utilize a variation of the Lerman Method in all talkback sessions. As of 2010, WTP charges a $20 cancelation fee for less than 24-hour notice or no-show playwrights committed to have wor k read. The reason is simple: We hire actors based upon the casting requests of the playwrights.
6) Characters must be listed in order of importance for the scene(s) being read so the moderator can cast actors (and not playwrights) in lead roles. If a main character is listed sixth, chances are high that a playwright will read that role as we generally hire only up to four actors per session. 7) Casting is at the absolute discretion of the moderator. 8) Each playwright is given up to 20 minutes to be read and 5 minutes for f eedbac k per session. 9) All feedbac k sessions are moderated. Our current inhouse professional moderator is Betty Hart.
Please note: We use a blind critique to make the best use of limited time. We have found this process emboldens individuals to speak their minds rather than be fearful of how the playwright whose work is being critiqued may react.
On Demand Reading Series When an Affiliate has a full draft of a full-length play, a long one-act or a series of related shorter plays developed through MNCS, they can request a reading of the entire work. These readings are eligible for our On Demand Reading Series (ODR) (formerly known as First Draft On Demand Reading Series). Each member may receive one ODR per calendar year. Read below for more details. Typically, ODR’s are held on Monday or Tuesday evenings, as more professional actors are available on these nights. However, the reading may be held on any day at any time, subject to availability of space and actors.
To arrange an ODR, an Affiliate needs to: First and foremost, have developed your script through MNCS. • Notify t he Managing Ar tistic Director of the date(s) the writer has in mind; please give up to three possibilities and every reasonable effort will be made to get your first preference. • WTP pays $20 each for up to four actors, including someone to read stage directions. The playwright will pay for any additional actors and share the expense of the moderator (payable to WTP and WTP, in turn, will pay all talents involved). • E-mail specific casting requirements, brief synopsis and character descriptions to the Managing Artistic Director (or designee) a month in advance so actors may be hired based on these requirements. Ten days in advance of the reading, e-mail a copy of the script in its entirety in Word or PDF so that it may be forwarded to the cast and moderator so they may familiarize themselves with the work before the event takes place; this enables the actors to provide a warm - vs cold reading. • Provide each participating actor, the person reading stage directions, and the moderator with a clean, hard copy of the full text - with stage directions to be read aloud highlighted - upon arrival to the reading. • Arrange for a simple meal for the cast and moderator. Actors receive only $20 for their effort and feeding them something decent (pizza, good quality sandwiches, pasta, salad, etc) shows a much greater appreciation for their effort.
NOTE: Should W TP have a sponsor for this program, WTP will arrange and provide the meal for all talent involved. WTP appreciates the playwright providing bottled water for the reading. • Moderated talkback sessions for ODRs are required. WTP’s in-house moderator has a fee of $75. The playwright will split this fee with WTP. • Invite everyone! While WTP will advertise the reading to the best of its ability, the responsibility of acquiring an audience is on the playwright. As of 2009, all ODRs are open to the public. FREE to attend with membership, $5 minimum suggested donation for all others. NOTE: It is understood this is a warm, unrehearsed, unstaged, concert reading; some variance to the copy used in the reading vs the advance script is understandable as the writer continues to write. However, an ODR reading is in no way expected to be made with a final polish. • WTP members who are writing with non-members who wish to have an ODR of their combined works may do so at the standard rate plus $30 each per non-member involved. If an ODR includes several different pieces, it is expected that all pieces will be given fair amount of q&a / rehearsal between actors and playwrights. All member plays must have been developed through MNCS.
The playwright and Megan Hayes at WTP’s ODR of Theroun Patterson’s CRADLE.
NOTE: As of 2009. each member may receive one ODR per calendar year at t he above cost(s). Additional ODRs may be requested at $200 per reading. This includes up to five actors, our in-house moderator, meal and venue. Additional actors will be $20 per actor, payable to WTP (who in turn will pay all talent). • New members should become familiar with the organization before scheduling an ODR. Members of less than two months will likely not be put on the calendar. Scheduling is at the discretion of the Managing Artistic Director.
2009 Inaugural series includes: Lab #1 Sherry Camp Paulsen, Playwright Ladies in Waiting Ellen McQueen, Director Kim Brundidge, Dramaturg Lab #2 Johnny Drago, Playwright Sanctuary Lost Melissa Foulger, Director Addae Moon, Dramaturg Lab #3 - to be held in 2010. Hank Kimmel, Playwright Divided Among Themselves Laurence Ruth, Director Suehyla El-Attar, Dramaturg
Lab #1 Begins
Lab #1 Concludes
Staged reading of Sherry Camp Paulsen’s LADIES IN WAITING @ Academy Theatre. Includes Talkback with director and playwright.
Lab #2 Begins
24 Lab #2 Concludes
26 2 p.m. Staged reading of Johnny Drago’s SANCTUARY LOST Academy Theatre. Includes Talkback with director and playwright.
The Ethel Woolson Lab (TEWL) The Ethel Woolson Lab, WTP’s new competitive series, is named after a recently deceased benefactor, supporter of the creative arts and mother of Advisory Board member Gayle Austin. The Ethel Woolson Lab (TEWL) provides up to four quarterly readings of competitively selected plays written by Affiliate playwrights. Each chosen play/ playwright will be given a 15- to 30-hour workshop through the course of one week, leading to a rehearsed, staged reading for the public. This will provide the playwright with more workshop time, more time with artistic teams of directors, dramaturges and actors, and more time dedicated to making that playwright's script as close to production-worthy as possible. Plays will be vetted by the Managing Artistic Director and one other Atlanta area artistic leader and final selections will be made by the Director/Dramaturg teams leading each workshop. WTP reserves the right to forgo any labs, subject to quality of scripts submitted.
Jo Howarth and Lorilyn Harper.
WTP is dedicated to helping playwrights tell their stories for the stage to the very best of their abilities. An essential part of that process is developmental workshops such as The Ethel Woolson Lab. Submissions to The Ethel Woolson Lab are accepted from WTP members only from October 31st-November 30th of each year. Plays should have gone through WTP’s developmental programs, inclusive of MNCS and On Demand Readings. One electronic copy and two hard copies are required of each submission. Email submissions in PDF or Word document to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail hard copies to: WTP Ethel Woolson Lab Submissions P.O. Box 585 Decatur, Georgia 30030-0585 5
At WTP, we know that playwrights often write in other genres and are also known to perform.
Playwright Slams are held at a myriad of venues. Past Atlanta area venues include Saba Restaurant, Violette Restaurant, and Chocolatte.
Poets & Writers, Inc. cosponsors many WTP Playwrights & ... readings. Past and current recipients include Marian X, Pamela Turner, Jill Patrick, Patricia Henritze, Karla Jennings, Hilary King, Hank Kimmel, Raymond Fast, Vynnie Meli, James Beck and Johnny Drago.
Topher Payne @ Saba 2009.
Playwright Slams! Modeled on poetry slams and the Gong Show, WTP offers an opportunity for members and public alike to read excerpts of their work while vying for the title of Playwright Slam Champion! Any interested writer with their own original material of seven minutes or less may enter. Free to attend. $5 entry free for competition. Itâ€™s fun and informal and provides opportunity for the shy playwright to stand up to the mic and show off their hidden talents. The winner even gets a prize!
Playwrights & ... Reading Series The Playwrights & ... Reading Series is designed to promote affiliated playwrights who also write and have been published in genres other than for the stage. Each recipient will perform an evening of reading their own materials that range from poetry to fiction to creative non-fiction and / or performance pieces. Playwrights accepted for this program are chosen on an annual basis and may not have more than one such reading within three years. After three years, the playwright may inquire about having another Playwrights & ... reading, though selection is made at the discretion of the Managing Artistic Director. Playwrights are expected to be members in good standing.
Patricia Henritze @ Wordsmiths Books, 2008.
Dramaturgy As part of membership, WTP affiliates will receive access to intensive one-on-one dramaturgy for $150. This service would normally cost $400. This relationship provides a critical read of the play with written and verbal comments by a dramaturg chosen with the work in mind. The dramaturg will read the play and conduct a feedback session - one on one, in person - geared towards the writer's goals for the play. The process may be as simple as this single session, but if the writer wishes to continue ... The writer will work on a revision incorporating as much (or as little) of the feedback as is deemed constructive by the writer. This revision should be completed in a timely manner that is still comfortable and productive. The dramaturg will read the revised script and have a follow-up conversation - in person - with the writer about the new draft and direction of the play as it moves forward. This is NOT script doctoring - the dramaturg will not edit or otherwise write your play for you, but the dramaturg WILL give you essential help in telling the story you want to tell. Dramaturgs currently working with WTP: Caleb Boyd, Kim Brundidge, Suehyla El-Attar, Peter Hardy, Patricia Henritze, Celise Kalke, Addae Moon, Topher Payne, Pamela Turner, Erin Weller, and Steve Yockey,
Educational Programs WTP is all-inclusive, servicing the novice and the pro. Toward that end, we have on-going playwright development programs that hopefully embolden the novice to write the story they’ve yet told and reaffirm craftsmanship in those who’ve been writing for a while. WTP educational programs currently include the on-going Kick-Ass Playwriting Workshops: A Gonzo Approach to Playwriting; Playwrights Playground; Based On True Stories: Creating Drama Inspired by True Life Events, and others. WTP believes there’s more to being a playwright than just writing the play. Therefore, we are committed to presenting seminars and other programs that help playwrights deal with issues they face and questions they have, related both to writing and other playwriting concerns, including, but not limited to, what professional theatres look for when considering scripts, how new work is viewed by literary managers, the relationship between the director and the playwright, and the business of playwriting. WTP offers its first masterclass in playwriting with guest playwright Carlos Murillo. Carlos Murillo's DARK PLAY OR STORIES FOR BOYS received its world premiere at the 31st Annual Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville in March 2007, and was produced at Actors Express in Atlanta and Theatre @ Boston Court in LA in fall 2007. Carlos' other plays include: UNFINISHED AMERICAN HIGHWAYSCAPE #9 & 32 (OR THE BROKEN TRACTOR GRAVEYARD), MIMESOPHOBIA (OR BEFORE AND AFTER), A HUMAN INTEREST STORY (OR THE GORY DETAILS AND ALL), OFFSPRING OF THE COLD WAR, THE PATRON SAINT OF THE NAMELESS DEAD, SCHADENFREUDE, NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES WITH LENI RIEFENSTAHL, NEVER WHISTLE WHILE YOU'RE PISSING and SUBTERRANEANS. Carlos Murillo
What Has Working Title Playwrights Accomplished?
Southeast Playwrights Project Scholarship
How Is Working Title Playwrights Organized?
What began as a small group of friends supporting each other’s work and growth as writers has since become an international membership organization, currently comprised of 63 members, most of whom are within the State of Georgia, but also as far away as Australia. Our affiliated writers include many of the best-known playwrights in the Atlanta area. Cumulatively, they have had more than 300 productions and readings and won more than 50 playwriting awards, including several impor tant national competitions. T hrou gh out i t s h i s t o r y, W T P h a s benefited from relationships with some of the top theatres and cultural leaders in Atlanta including Academy Theatre, Actor’s Express, Dad’s Garage, Essential Theatre, Horizon Theatre, Jewish Theatre of the South, Onstage Atlanta, Process Theatre, Push Push Theater, and Decatur Arts Festival, to name a few.
In early 2006, the Southeast Playwrights Project (SEPP) merged with Working Title. SEPP, the longest operating playdevelopment organization in the area, had served playwrights since the early 1980s. As a result of the merger, Working Title became the largest organization focused exclusively on the development of new plays in the Southeast.
Working Title Playwrights, Inc., is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) corporation operating under the laws of the State of Georgia.
Among the programs added as a result of the merger is the Patrick Gaffney Scholarship. Gaffney was the executive director of SEPP for many years until his death in 2000. He was a champion of new works and helping deser ving playwrights find opportunities. Recipients of Gaffney Scholarships will be able to take advantage of all Working Title programs as full Affiliates. Eligibility details and application procedures are available upon request.
President Hank Kimmel
Working Title Playwrights
Treasurer Robert Cassano
Board of Directors and
Secretary Kim Brundidge
WTP is run by its Board of Directors; at present, this consists of five Affiliate Playwrights and three at-large Board members. We recognize, however, good corporate practice demands that we build a Board from the community-atlarge, and welcome the participation of anyone outside our membership who is interested in what we do. Ultimately, we plan to have a maximum of two Affiliate Playwrights serving on our Board at any given time. WTP’s staff currently consists of the Managing Artistic Director and resident moderat or. While t hey ha ve t he responsibility to create and implement WTP’s programs, the input of the Affiliate Playwrights is instrumental in helping to determine what programs will be of the greatest benefit to them individually and to the organization. We encourage Affiliates to offer their suggestions, ideas and questions as WTP focuses on the future -- both short- and long-term.
Other Board Members:
Lisa Brathwaite Kirsten Eidsmoe Jo Howarth Laurence Ruth Curt Shannon
Valetta Anderson Gayle Austin Jim Davies Jim Grimsley Karla Jennings Pamela Turner
Working Title Playwrights
P.O. BOX 585
Decatur, Georgia 30030-0585
Published on Nov 25, 2009
A resource guide to all things Working Title Playwrights, a nonprofit organization out of metro Atlanta, GA that makes new plays happen by d...