Wednesday, May 25, 2011

RESPONSE: Really? You Can't Find Young Men?

James Fritz at The Guardian's theater blog wonders aloud where all the young male playwrights have gone. I feel completely baffled.

I can't think of playwrights -- of either gender -- under the age of 18 because I don't know any playwrights under the age of 18. But when I think of the playwrights I know in the 18-24 bracket (which is my age bracket, and which I think we can safely call "young"), I can think of plenty of men and women. They're not exactly names you would know, because they're on the outside, but just a quick glance off the top of my head gives me the following male playwrights who've had productions in New York: myself (when I can be assed to write), Andrew Farmer, Evan Watkins, Jarret Kerr, Colby Day, Ben Forster, Andrew Butler, Alex Johnson, Alex Fast, etc. etc. (For women, there's Kristine Lee, Claire Downs, Erin McGuff, Lindsey Ferrentino, Maria Wilson, etc. etc.)

Most of them have been self-produced or produced by peer organizations, so I wouldn't be surprised that they haven't reached the sort of notice that Mr. Fritz seems to be looking towards. It takes a while to build up success. We haven't really built a system that catapults young geniuses to the top of the pile.