Yesterday was a reading day – there were a number of play submissions to go through. We’re never really overwhelmed with submissions because Theatrefolk has such a narrow focus. We looking for plays that have a specific criteria so often it’s easy to pass on a script because it simply doesn’t fit the criteria.
The past few months have been very exciting as we’ve had some wonderful plays come our way. There’s nothing like opening up a script and seeing that the first scene is pretty good and then you like the next and then it keeps getting better. More often than not I know whether I’m going to send a play to the next level early on. Plays reveal themselves generally on the first few pages.
I read all submissions and make notes. Then if there’s a script that has potential, I’ll pass to on to my partner, who will read it and take notes. Then we’ll either share a unanimous ‘yes’ and the script will move on, or we’ll hash out the pros and cons. Again, because we have such a specific criteria it makes discussion pretty easy! The bottom line is that at least one of us has to feel exited enough about the script to champion the play.
Unfortunately none of the plays yesterday went to the next level. One script was completely gripping and theatrical but just didn’t fit in with our market. Those are always a shame to lose. When I do rejection letters I try never to write a form letter – as a writer myself I appreciate a personal letter, even when my work is being rejected! I also make sure I tell the writer to keep sending out their stuff. Choosing a play is subjective and what one publisher rejects another may love. It’s all about persistence.