I’m not a big awards gal. As in, I don’t personally watch the Academy Awards and if you have an Oscar party I probably won’t come. Tonys are not really on my radar, and I pretty much stay away from local theater awards & ceremonies. (How clever of me to personally avoid any recent nominations, huh? Right. Let’s not go there.)
Now I know awards are kind of a necessary not-so-evil. They’re a very useful tool for artists. In the best sense of the word, I think they can celebrate our art. And they mean a lot to a whole lot of people – just because there are winners does not mean the rest of the world (read “us”) are losers, right?
Okay. Admittedly, I have not been above posting awards on my own damn resume. So I should just get over my fine socialist self, keep an eye on my over-developed empathy gene (why can’t everyone win?) and put this all into perspective.
Which brings me to the Hollywood Fringe Festival Awards. And a question about LA FPI’s contribution to them.
Awards are a big deal at the Festival, and when we first began to partner with the Fringe (thanks to an introduction by the incredible, soon-to-be-leaving-LA Cindy Marie Jenkins – thank you, mama!), the subject of sponsoring a Fringe Award came up. But wait: LA FPI can’t be choosing one artists or project over another! (See “socialist,” above.)
Still, we didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to celebrate female artists. So we tried to figure out how to give an award that would let us highlight numbers, give accolades and create some good old gender parity awareness.
Here’s what we thought up: We’ll give our awards to venues, not artists. We’ll tally the numbers to determine the overall percentage of Fringe shows written by women, and give “Most Wanted” Awards to recognize venues that had over 50% shows by female playwrights.
Well, we’ve done it for the past four years, and the numbers we got each year told us that about 39% of the scripted Fringe shows each year were by women. We gave away a few “Most Wanted” Awards every year and that was all well and good.
But for the first time, this year over 50% of the venues got LA FPI Awards – 10 total, the most ever. Also in 2015, we found that over 46% of the overall Fringe shows were femme-penned. Statistically, that’s a pretty significant leap… in the right direction!
I was ridiculously excited about this – thrilled at the reaction by the Festival peeps (Ben, Stacey & Meghan are my heroes for making this madness happen every year) and the Fringe Femmes. And so grateful to Madison Shephard & Julisa Wright (Constance Strickand behind the scenes) for graciously presenting the 2015 “Most Wanted” Awards.
I heard the Fringe Awards Ceremony this year was a blast and then some. Hooray for accolades, congrats to all of the “winners” and so glad LA FPI was a part of it, again! (Even though my ass was conspicuously absent, again – see “over-developed empathy gene,” above.)
So here’s where I am now with Fringe award-ness: When we first thought up the LA FPI Award we dreamed that in the best of all possible LA theater worlds, venues would proudly post them on their walls and compete for women artists to book in their spaces so they could get them. I’m not sure that this is quite happening, but I am gratified that theater operators have come up to me and told me that they deserved one, despite the numbers (tee hee hee).
What are your thoughts? Especially if you have a healthier attitude towards awards than some of us, is the “Most Wanted” Award something that gets our message out in the best way? Is there another way we can celebrate the work of the Women on the Fringe, and the theaters and theatermakers that are actively supporting that work?
Let us know. We’ve got awhile to think about it. And in the meantime, accolades to all the Fringe Femmes from LA FPI – you’re all winners and we want you ALL!
I have enjoyed our diverse group of voices. I have enjoyed the moments when after reading these ladies or watching a video or film, I break out into laughter or tears – those moments when I am found…. There is nothing like being in a funk and have someone write “Oink! Oink!” or having to leave my desk to shake myself after reading “When Playwrights Get Old” which came about after “Too old?” left me numb and very contemplative. When I look in the mirror, I see me and have to remind myself that the first set of students at the university where I work my day job have graduated and are in their thirties now. The few that have stayed on in employment shock me when I run into them yet when I look in the mirror I don’t see age — I see me. One wonders if after all the “Taking Stock” we do if a change is gonna come – ever – but we keep hoping and pushing and fighting for that “Stillness” that drives us.
The goal is to be a working artist. By that I mean, you don’t have to have a day job to pay the rent, pay for submission fees, or afford you food while you write. Living in near poverty to be an artist should be against the law especially because that same art could end up being a national treasure; the following terms are not interchangeable: “Working Artist – Donating Artist – Surviving Artist“.
Zora Neale Hurston author of Their Eyes Were Watching God died in poverty; her work was rescued from a fire after her death (Florida had a habit of burning the belongings of the dead). Zora Neale Hurston’s life work is a national treasure…
There should be no limitations or rules on where or in what form a writer creates story as there are no rules to who can be “The Happiest Person in America” or one of the happiest people – let us do our art and we are there… Gender does not dictate what shared work will change the world in some way — “And The Female Play at the Tonys was…” and it should not dictate who has access to the stage, the screen or the bookshelf. Great stories all start the say way — with words and the “Voice…” of the writer. All are needed, each soprano, alto, tenor and bass… There should not have to be “The Bechdel Test for the Stage“; there should not have to be a Bechdel test at all – why can’t all stories worth telling be treated equal? Why can’t the journey be easier? Why can’t handling “Our Expectations, Our Fears” as artists be easier? Perhaps even this tug-of-war on gender parity fits into the “Everything Is A Creative Act” category; it is, after all, fodder.
I especially like what Pulitzer Prize Finalist playwright Lisa Kron said at the last Dramatists Guild Conference “Having Our Say: Our History, Our Future” about what she does when something rubs her the wrong way “I’m going to write a play about this” — The Veri**on Play is what resulted.
Just wondering, do you have any favorite LA FPI blog articles?
Bloggers Past and Present:
Jessica Abrams, Tiffany Antone, Erica Bennett, Nancy Beverly, Andie Bottrell, Robin Byrd, Kitty Felde, Diane Grant, Jen Huszcza, Sara Israel, Cindy Marie Jenkins, Sue May, Analyn Revilla, Cynthia Wands and special input by Laura Shamas and Jennie Webb.
Fringe is in the air. Artists of all ilk are excited to bare their souls on Hollywood stages. But fringin’ ain’t easy. With hundreds of shows vying for audience attention, artists on a limited budget are left with no choice but to don the hats of marketing specialist, fundraiser, and publicist. Oh and of course, back to artist. Right. Each aspect is a feat in its own right, but I’d like to focus on marketing in this post. As someone who had a marketing phobia (I still do to some extent), I understand how marketing may feel like trying to hit a piñata in the dark–with some cruel, invisible entity spinning you astray. The truth is, whenever I feel this way, it’s because I don’t have enough information. I finally owned up to my part in the matter and began digging. In my search for how to market theatre specifically, I stumbled upon Clay Mabbit’s blog: Sold Out Run. The blog alone has an incredible amount of information. When I found out that Clay also wrote a book: Reaching A New Audience, and that the book details strategies to draw audiences of a digital age to the theatre, it immediately piqued my interest.
So we made a deal.
I would read and apply the modules in Reaching A New Audience and write an honest review based on my experience (Clay offered this opportunity in a newsletter to subscribers). Clay provides a ton of ideas in twelve modules, which he describes as “tactical steps of promoting your show.” He adds, “you can tackle one module a day, one each week, or whatever pattern works for you. Most of the modules can be completed in 20 minutes or less.”
3. We also shot a trailer, one of the many ideas also echoed in Outreach Nerd, Cindy Marie Jenkins’s Social Media Marketing workshops.
Cindy’s insight has been an excellent complement to Clay’s module because it helps us really fine tune how to use social media to effectively disseminate the content in Clay’s modules. Hopefully the entire process will help quell those old, queasy marketing nightmares. Fingers crossed.
Reaching A New Audience currently retails at $147 and Clay has given me permission to read it for free. $147 is a hefty price to pay for a book. Is it worth it? Stay tuned for results in my follow-up post.
Whenever I need to refer to those on high with the money and power to make business decisions in a creative industry, they are THE SUITS.
I’m sure you can think of a few.
Last week for my monthly Bechdel Test Talk (which originated on this blog), we took the SAG Award nominees, the Independent Spirit Awards nominees for Best Picture, and the IAWTV (International Academy of Web TV) Winners to see how they stacked up against the Bechdel Test.
When I have more energy, I’ll update this with the score for the SAG Winners.
Normally, we don’t ‘score’ based on the Bechdel Test; we use it as a starting point for deeper discussions on how it affects our audiences and thus society.
For this Broadcast, however, scores seemed appropriate:
Shocker, as Co-Host Etta Devine stated. When there’s a lower barrier to entry (Whether The Suits, or the numerous people in -between, or society itself), Where most entertainment (web TV) is self-produced, The Bechdel Test flies high above the rest.
Methinks it’s time to show The Suits why creativity breeds quality.
There is far more diversity in the Web Series World as well, and not just in neat little boxes easily consumed by any audience. Some suggestions: My Gimpy Life, Out With Dad, The Unwritten Rules, Breaking Point and there are so many more but I can’t think of them past midnight. Follow Web Series Watch’s blog for news and recommendations (yes, that is my own web series and I’m too tired to disguise self-promotion either – besides, frick it. I’m proud of it.).
Watch our nifty 30-minute Broadcast to hear why some of the movies are dubious. Silver Lining Playbook, anyone? Full list and links we mention after the video.
Best Comedy Series – Squaresville
Best Ensemble Performance – Squaresville
Best Drama Series – Leap Year
Best Writing (Comedy) – Squaresville – Matt Enlow
Best Costume Design – The League of S.T.E.A.M. – The League of S.T.E.A.M.
Best Makeup/Special Effects – The League of S.T.E.A.M. – The League of S.T.E.A.M.
Best Design (Art Direction/Production) – Continuum – Eric Whitney – computer voice
Best Editing – Continuum – Blake Calhoun
Best Directing (Comedy) – My Gimpy Life – Sean Becker
Best Female Performance (Comedy) – My Gimpy Life – Teal Sherer Teal
Best Directing (Drama) – Anyone But Me – Tina Cesa Ward (but it’s complicated in a good way)
Best Interactive/Social Media Experience – The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
Best Original Music – Cost of Capital – Rob Gokee
Best Male Performance (Comedy) – The Jeff Lewis 5-Minute Comedy Hour – Jeff Lewis – Poker Episode ?
Best Visual Effects (Digital) – H+ The Digital Series – Faction Creative and The Sequence Group: VFX Supervisor Ian Kirby; Digital Effects Supervisor Chris van Dyck; VFX Producer Caleb Bouchard
Best Animated Series – Red vs. Blue
Best Cinematography – H+ The Digital Series – Brett Pawlak – up to Episode 12. silent conversation probably about work between two women in Episode 13.
Best Female Performance (Drama) – Blue – Julia Stiles – Blue
Best Male Performance (Drama) – The Booth at the End, Season 2 – Xander Berkeley – Lead
Best Writing (Drama) – The Booth at the End, Season 2 – Christopher Kubasik
Best Supplemental Content – Red vs. Blue
Here is a selection of female-helmed Fringe shows who I got a chance to interview. I decided to start with pieces that pass a modified version of the Bechdel test*; essentially, the subject matter does not revolve around men and relationships. I don’t have a problem with those topics, and they can be very interesting, but there is plenty else out there.
*The Bechdel test is meant for film, so the three criteria are: 1) more than 1 female characters (with names), 2) who talk to each other, 3) about something besides men. For plays, specifically some that are only one woman on stage, I modified the definition. It’s still up for discussion, but that’s the best I could create after a lengthy twitter discussion on the topic.
More will be posted soon along with personal commentary on the state of female characters………
Her story centers around her parents, including an incarcerated father, but she also portrays other women who discuss much more than that. One character includes Marie Laveau, and from talking with her, it seems like New Orleans herself is a character.
What will it take for you to actually change your life and overall purpose?
…..And that’s it. Out of 35 + interviews, those are the four I can distinguish are not solely about men and a female’s relationship to them. This is not a judgement call, and I am seeing some wonderful shows that revolve around relationships. I just find it very interesting and something to consider. What do you think?
Ever wanted to know what Literary Managers’ pet peeves are? Steven Epperson took up our interview request. It’s lengthy and very helpful. Please comment on any of the below. He may be open to more. All italicizing is mine for ease in reading. – CMJ
SE: First off, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to ask these questions. I’ve been the Literary Manager for Impact Theatre for over 5 years, and Literary Manager for The Asylum Theatre for over 7 years, and in my time reading scripts I’ve always wanted to have an opportunity to express to playwrights how they can better submit their work. This is a great idea, and I look forward to reading your blog post.
CMJ: Are there any red flags to submissions, obvious or subtle?
SE: Yes. Misspellings/wrong word usage in the cover letter and/or synopsis. I’ve never seen a
play that was any good when those problems happen. Rambling cover letter/synopsis. Keep cover letters to one paragraph, keep synopsis to one page. Max. Less is more. No cast list = a not very good play. Every single time. Resubmitting a script that I’ve sent a rejection letter on, and sending that resubmission to the Artistic Director directly. Anything she gets, goes straight to me, and I keep records of what I’ve read and what I have/haven’t rejected. Don’t try to get around or go over the head of the person who rejected your play. Submitting a script after a playwright has received a rejection letter from me, and demonstrating attitude or anger in the cover letter for their new submission. There are two acceptable responses to a rejection notice: 1) “Thank you for considering my play.” 2) Nothing. I know that it stinks to get rejected. Be professional. Being difficult might feel good the moment a playwright hits that ‘Send’ button, but it will not do anybody any good at all in the long term.
CMJ: Please give an idea of the sorts of plays that immediately grab your attention, and how a submission package can accomplish that without bending the guidelines?
SE: I’m chuckling as I write my answer to your first question, because, for me, this is the
most difficult question to answer. Impact Theatre produces a huge variety of work: comedies, dramas, adaptations of classics, to name a few. We’ve never done a musical, but we’re not opposed to doing one either. (Over the past several years I’ve started reading several musicals and thought, “This might be the first Impact musical!” Then, I get to the end and I think, “Um. No.” …. the core writing elements (story, dialogue, character development) simply weren’t up to par. In a musical, of course there need to be good songs. However, no matter how good the songs are, if the core elements of the writing aren’t there, the script just doesn’t work theatrically. Again, neither I nor either of the theatre companies that I work with would be absolutely opposed to producing a musical. However, one has not yet been submitted to us that, in my opinion, would work.)
What grabs more attention, always, is quality writing. An interesting story with well crafted characters and compelling dialogue. I realize that sounds like a cheap answer, but that is the primary thing that I look for. I don’t look for specific genres, I don’t look for comedies over dramas or vice-versa. While we try to schedule variety, Impact wouldn’t be opposed to doing a season composed entirely of comedies or dramas. Impact Theatre produces four plays a year, one of which is an adaptation of a ‘classic’ that is adapted and directed by our Artistic Director,Melissa Hillman. So, we have three production slots open each season. What do I want to go into those three slots? The three best damn scripts we have that are available to us.
Impact Theatre only produces full-length works. It’s just too difficult to find individual one-acts that can be paired together to present a cohesive night of theatre. IF a playwright wanted to submit two one-acts that they felt would work together in a single evening, I’m more than happy to take a look. However, otherwise one-acts almost always get a pass from me. IF I like the writing well enough, in the rejection letter that I send out, (and every play that I don’t pass on does get a rejection letter), I will make a point to ask if the playwright has any full-length material that they wish to submit.
Here’s the submission package that makes me happiest: an e-mail (Impact Theatre ONLY accepts submissions that are e-mailed.) that includes: the script (you would be surprised how many playwrights forget to attach their play) in a format that my computer can work with (Microsoft Word of PDF ONLY. I’ve been receiving a lot of submissions in Word Perfect, and my computer just doesn’t know what to do with those.), a cover letter, and, if the playwright wishes to include one, a resume. For Impact Theatre submissions, that’s pretty much all one needs. One thing that I would strongly advise is that playwrights should NOT adopt a One-Size-Fits-All philosophy. Find out from each theatre company they submit to what THAT theatre company wants in their submission packages. Some of the things that I don’t care whether they’re included or not: resumes, reviews, letters of recommendation, etc., might mean an automatic rejection from other
If you don’t mind, I’ll break down each of the elements that I mentioned above. As I said, e-mail the script in a format that most computers can work with, i. e. Microsoft Word or PDF. (PDF works on pretty much every computer, so it’s a good default choice.) Submit the ENTIRE script, unless otherwise specified to only send the first 10 pages or to only submit a dialogue sample. When I say that playwrights should include a ‘cover letter’, what I really want is for them to include a ‘cover note’. That means: keep it short. I’d say one paragraph (short paragraph) max. If a playwright thinks that they need more than one paragraph in their cover letter, they really don’t. Introduce themselves, tell me the title and any recent productions of the play. A brief (BRIEF) synopsis is fine, but, keep it brief. Playwrights should keep in mind that I’m more interested in reading their play, than I am in reading their cover letters.
CMJ: What are some immediate turn-offs in submissions? SE: I once sat down and wrote a diatribe (it had been a long week) about the different things that playwrights do that can, and do, turn me off to their work. I won’t bore you with the whole thing, but here are the high (low) lights:
Misspelling my name in the cover letter. This happened this past week. Now, some people will say, “Why does that matter?” It matters because if a playwright can’t be bothered to spell my name right, that demonstrates a lack of interest, and a lack of attention to detail. It may also be the sign of an attitude that Impact Theatre isn’t interested in dealing with. To be blunt, it’s the best way to make a bad first impression.
Misspellings, bad grammar, wrong word usage: yes, playwrights are writing speech, and the way people, especially Americans, speak does not always follow the rules of writing. (Cause instead of because, for example.) I understand that, and I’m not trying to be the grammar/spelling police. However, having sloppy writing mechanics is unprofessional, and I’ve never, ever, read a script where the playwright had bad writing mechanics where the story and the characters themselves were well crafted. I’m not talking about the occasional typo. I’m talking about consistent, repeated errors that a professional writer should know to not do. Bottom line, it just looks bad, and I’m going to pass on a play that looks bad.
Non-standard fonts or formatting: make your writing as easy to read as possible. If I have to struggle in any way with your play, including the style in which it is presented/ written, I’m going to pass. In addition, when you e-mail a script, don’t send each scene as a separate document. Don’t have the title page and/or the cast list as a separate document. In other words: send your script as a SINGLE attachment, please. This may sound trivial, but having to constantly stop and open a new document interferes with the flow of the story, and can be aggravating.
Submissions that don’t follow stated guidelines: Read the guidelines for submissions and follow them. One of the theatre companies that I work with periodically produces a 10-minute comedy play series. When we put out a request for submissions for this 10-minute comedy play series, the avalanche of stuff that we get that is neither 10-minute nor comedy is extremely exasperating. I’ve actually seen submissions of 50 page scripts. No matter who you are, guidelines apply to you, they apply to me, they apply to anybody submitting material for anything for which guidelines are out there.
Not including a cast list, unless it’s a one-person show: I see this all the time, and I cannot understand why playwrights would not include a cast list with their scripts. As a Literary Manager, I want to focus on the story, and not have to waste time trying to figure who all these random characters are who keep on wandering in and out of the scenes.
Unnecessary/gratuitous nudity: I’m not a prude. I have no problem with nudity. (Some of my best friends have been naked.) If there’s a reason for people to be naked in your play, that’s cool. HOWEVER, if the naked person doesn’t have anything to do with the story, don’t do it. IF it is necessary to the story, and there’s a way to stage it legally, that’s one thing. Gratuitous is entirely another, and we’re not interested.
An overabundance of stage directions: If pressed, I’d say that this is my #1 most frustrating thing. Having line after line after line after line of stage directions interrupts the flow and rhythm that I’m trying to discern from a playwright’s writing. Trying to get into a playwright’s story, trying to find out if the playwright is creating characters with individual voices, trying to see if there is something about the writing that would be compelling on a stage all get ground to a halt when I have to constantly stop reading the dialogue and read stage directions. I think that for some people, getting the action as they see it in their mind onto the paper or the computer screen is important because those writers need to have it written out in order for them to keep what’s going on organized. I understand that, and that’s fine. For writers who need that, I would strongly suggest removing those stage directions before sending their scripts out. Having massive amounts of stage directions in one’s script does nothing to help me decipher the quality of the story that the playwright is trying to tell. If no other information gets out from this blog post, I hope this does: have as few stage directions as is possible.
Impossible or difficult to manage set designs: Most small theatre companies have neither the budget, nor the space, nor the ability to reconstruct Notre Dame Cathedral.
Most small theatre companies would struggle to reconstruct your living room. Also, recently I’ve seen a number of script in which the author wants a real automobile of whatever make/model/sort onstage. Again, most small theatre companies could not get a car into their building, much less onto their performing area. I think that the biggest failing I see from a number of playwrights is that their writing makes it appear that they don’t understand other aspects of theatre, especially when it comes to sets, props and sometimes costumes.
Writing plays set in places you’ve never been to: This is less of a problem now, but a couple of years ago its seemed like everybody and their grandmother were writing plays set in a hotel or motel or trailer park in the Mojave/Arizona/New Mexico/Texas/Mexican/California/Nevada desert. I don’t know how this happened, and I don’t know why this happened. When one is not familiar with the environment they’re writing about, it shows. That being said, ENOUGH with plays being set in New York City. Feel free to set your play in the other 99% of the country.
CMJ: Does it matter to you if playwrights have a website, Facebook, Twitter presence? How much do you want to know about the playwright themselves if you’re interested in their work?
SE: Honestly, for me, it doesn’t really matter at all. If Impact Theatre decides to produce a play, then, yes, we want to know everything we can about the playwright that we’re going to be working with. Until we’re at the point where we’re ready to begin that process, and I’m being completely honest here, it just doesn’t matter all that much to us.
Along those lines, it used to bother me when playwrights didn’t have their resumes in an easily readable format. It used to, until one day I realized that a playwright’s resume wasn’t going to be the deciding factor as to whether or not Impact Theatre produced their play, or whether or not I passed their play on up the ladder. Once I realized that, I didn’t spend a lot of time looking at playwright’s resumes. If a resume is included in a submission I’ll still LOOK at it, but it’s really more of a glance than anything else: “Let’s see, any names or places that I recognize? Yes? No? All right, time to read this play.”
CMJ: What is the process for choosing a season at your theaters, and is there any way that playwrights can aid you in that process?
SE: The process for choosing a season at Impact Theatre is as follows: every script that is submitted, whether sent directly to me by the playwright or not, goes to me. I read every script that comes in. My job is NOT to say, “Yes.”. My job is to say, “No.”, and I say, “No.”, a lot. If I don’t say, “No.” to a script, that script is passed on to Melissa Hillman, the Artistic Director for Impact Theatre. She reviews the scripts I send her, and she will either say, “No.”, or she will put the script to the side for consideration by the entire company. Once or twice a year, more if necessary, the company will gather to read plays out loud and discuss them. The group as a whole decides what plays are being produced each season, with the exception of the one classic that we do each year. The classics are the purview of Melissa, and she selects those herself.
In terms of the selection process described above, there’s not anything playwrights can do to influence that in and of itself. What playwrights CAN do is: be patient. Be patient because the one area where I’m lacking is in figuring out a way to communicate with playwrights when their play gets moved up the ladder instead of being rejected. I’ve tried multiple times, but I have a hard time composing a letter that says, “We like your play, but we’re NOT promising to produce it, and we might not, but we might, so . . . thanks!”, in 1-2 paragraphs. Part of the problem may be that I’m overthinking it, and that’s my issue. Anyway, be patient. If a playwright doesn’t hear back from Impact Theatre regarding their play, it’s a case of no news is not necessarily bad news.
CMJ: Steven added this after I asked a follow-up question:
SE: If you don’t mind, one thing that I forgot to mention was the environments that theatre companies produce in. I think the space(s) that theatre companies stage their productions in is not often considered by playwrights when they are writing scripts. The majority of plays that I see are written for proscenium style theatres, while most small theatre companies (I don’t have statistics at hand to verify this, but Melissa Hillman, the Artistic Director for Impact has talked about this a number of times, and I take her at her word.), produce plays in some variation of ‘black box’ spaces. For example, Impact Theatre currently stages our shows in the basement of a pizza parlor. With an 8′ high ceiling. This means that no matter how hard we tried it would simply be impossible to stage a play in which having a two or more level set was required. (Unless we cast the show entirely with Ewoks, and that would bring up a whole other set of issues.) Impact has passed on at least three scripts that we really, REALLY wanted to produce, but couldn’t due to the particular restrictions of our theatre. Now, I am NOT expecting all playwrights to have, or request, floor plans or scale drawings of the the theatres they’re going to submit plays to before they begin writing. What I am suggesting is that playwrights be more open to creating plays that can be staged in ways that are more flexible than only in a proscenium theatre. Doing so give both sides what they want: it gives theatre companies more plays to select from, and it gives playwrights more potential venues in which to have their plays produced.
CMJ: Many thanks to Steven for his time, and please do comment with questions below. I’m working on some other Literary Managers and hope to give all playwrights a larger perspective on the people reading and accepting/rejecting their work.