How Difficult Is It To Get A Play Produced?

by Randy Murray on July 31, 2012

I find the writing part of playwrighting to be intellectually engaging and stimulating, but in and of itself it’s one of the easier parts of being a playwright.

The crucial part, the part that actually makes it playwrighting, is getting the play produced.

Today it is very difficult to get a play read, let alone produced. There aren’t very many theater companies interested in or capable of producing new work. Amateur and community theaters largely produce standard fare, established, often-performed plays and musicals. Who can blame them? It’s tough enough to attract an audience for live theater as it is.

And play production can be expensive. You have to pay for the space, for rehearsal as well as performance, and that’s just the start. Then there’s the sets, costumes, props, and lighting and all of the trades associated with play production. Even college productions have their costs and limited budgets.

Getting a new play produced is, at best, unlikely.

So why do it? Why write plays at all?

I do it because I fervently believe that live theater matters. As much as I love movies, nothing can affect you, even change you, the way live theater can. I strongly believe that the shared experience of live theater is one of the basic human experiences. From the earliest stories told around a fire to full scale Broadway musicals, the theatrical experience can affect us deeply.

Movies and television are weak, paltry substitutes for the live theater experience. Religious ceremonies may give some of the same effect, but nothing can compare to the experience of sitting together with a large group of other people in an auditorium or arena or even standing in the street and experience together really terrific theater.

For me personally, to see my own work deeply affect an audience, has been literally stunning.

That makes all of the effort worthwhile.

The How Difficult Is It To Get A Play Produced? by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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