Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Outrageous Fortune II

Okay, I'll say something quick.

August Schulenberg notes this:
...the study is specifically looking at playwrights who are "successful", a term defined loosely in the book, but understood to mean playwrights who are regularly being produced at a regional and Off-Broadway level. The survey focuses on a sample of those playwrights, and the theatres that are able to financially produce at that level.
Matt Freeman notes:
One thing that struck me in particular was the expression of frustration that there aren't companies that coalesce around a playwright anymore. I don't see that, personally. Maybe that's true on the scale of regional theaters 'filling slots'...but on the Off-Off scale, I see it all the time.

I have been working with a single theater company (more or less) in New York City since about 2004. Just over six years of productions. Do we produce on the scale of Manhattan Theater Club? No. Have I gotten reviews and publications and all that other nice stuff? Yes. Do I still work, and work hard, in an unrelated field to make ends meet? Yes, yes I do. Still, when I read chapters about the nomadic lives of playwrights now, I felt a bit happy to know that's not my position.
So if playwrights like me who work Off-Off-Broadway are:

1) Not that much less financially stable than the "successful" playwrights
2) Supported more by companies willing to champion our works (I write plays and have my own company, Freeman notes his own relationship with a good company)

Then the term "successful" appears to be better worn by the off-off-Broadway folks than by the industry writers! Here I was thinking that I had chosen passion over money, but it sounds like all I did was choose to be happier.