Roland Tec, in the last DG newsletter, had asked whether it would be helpful to have some sort of workshop on how to write synopsis, etc. for when one makes submission inquiries to theaters. This was my response, which he posted in the 3/13/09 Dramatist Guild e-mail newsletter:
Certainly a workshop or panel or whatever one wants to put together to help one with submissions can’t hurt. At the same time, it’s hard to see exactly how it would help. Since most theatres (at least Lort Theatres, etc.) will only read or do plays that are recommended by an agent or theatre professional; have been done in a theatre that fits a certain criteria; etc., one could have the most brilliant synopses, etc. and it probably wouldn’t make a difference. The days are probably long gone whereby plays and playwrights can be discovered based solely on the quality of the play except in very rare occasions. The issues surrounding getting a theatre to read, much less produce, an over the transom script are probably far more serious that is suggested in your column.– Howard Casner
For about 30 or more years now, the Dramatist Guild has been in need of a paradigm shift when it comes to helping their members get their plays produced. But my feeling is that any suggestions to them has fallen on deaf ears (especially reflected in a fairly useless book of theater listings that doesn’t have the information dramatists really need to know before submitting a play); they just don’t seem to realize or care just how much has changed. There is now some indication that it may now, after all these years, be dawning on them, as they are slowly emphasising the idea that getting produced is almost impossible at most LORT theaters (most theaters period) and that more and more one has to produce one self or find other ways of making oneself known. They still haven’t taken the full step in this direction, but maybe they will soon.