Gifts for playwrights are not difficult to find. With the exception of a few loudmouths, we are a meek lot. Many of us, however, are afraid to ask for what we need or want. So here’s a list of what I would like. I’m sure you’ll have no problem getting anything on the list. I have prioritized it for easy reference. I’m also posting it on the web, so that families and friends of playwrights will have an idea of what to buy their favorite theater person.
A Director in a Box
but not strongly encouraged.(Photo by Califrayray)
Writer’s Market Subscription
A Writer’s Market Subscription is a fantastic gift for a playwright, and here’s why: We can turn our plays into novels, short stories and articles. There is no reason why a good play should lie dormant because it hasn’t found a home in theater. You and I have talked about this already. If a story is worthy, it will always find a home. So I would like a subscription to Writer’s Market, because I’m sure some of my work will travel along that path.
Membership to The Playwrights’ Center
It’s true I’ve recently joined up with The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis. I was a member once, a very long time ago. Back then, I had no idea how to use this resource. As it turns out, their member section is clear, detailed and helpful. I’m surprised at the user-friendly interface. I don’t know if they have multi-year memberships, but it would make a wonderful Christmas present.
Membership to Scriptworks
Remember when I lived in Austin back in 2006? You and I heard my 1968 play read at Scriptworks. They were a patient group, considering the very rough draft I gave them. Eleven characters, that draft. It still amazes me that they did it. Anyway, they were good people. I wouldn’t mind becoming a member there again. We don’t have to live in Austin to qualify. It certainly would give us a great excuse to visit. We could stay at that Extended Stay Hotel, just like I did when I first moved there. It was romantic in a cold, impersonal way.
Membership to the Dramatists Guild
At this point, you’re probably saying to yourself: My goodness, is there anything my wife doesn’t want to join? I realize that anyone else reading this will likely give me grief about the priority of this gift idea. I have been a Dramatists Guild member in the past. In coming back to theater, I’ve struggled about rejoining. I fully support its mission. What stops me right now is that the price is (gulp) $130, since I qualify for full membership. That is quite a donation, unless I can make the membership useful. As you will come to find out, Dear Husband, that is about seven times what I spent on your present.
We have talked about making cost-effective theater choices in the past. There is no need to rehash it here. I suspect I’ll be able to justify becoming a member soon. Those are the cold, harsh realities of living in this economy. Meanwhile, you can look at it like Scriptworks and make a donation to my eventual Dramatist Guild membership.
Insight for Playwrights
My friend, Pat Gabridge, turned me onto Insight for Playwrights a very long time ago. I recently subscribed again, and it has been a wonderful resource. I tend to view Insight as a pipeline to small, off-the-beaten-path theaters around the country. The only reason this is last on the list is because I signed up a few months ago. So you could put money aside for the subscription, since it doesn’t need to be renewed for a while.
Okay. Those are my ideas. There are a ton more I could give you, but I don’t want to waste your time. Besides, if you are reading this, you have clearly procrastinated. There is no time to spare.
And keep away from the closet in my office upstairs. Enough said.