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The Playwrights Forum > The Art & Craft of Writing > Synopses and Cover Letters > a proper response to a theatre requesting a full length script

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 Posted: Mon Nov 26th, 2007 10:17 pm
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solarcirclegirl
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Mana: 
    I recently got a letter back from a theatre I sent my synopsis and writing sample for 'Hauntings' and they want to see the whole play!

This is very exciting for me, but I don't know exactly what to write other than, here's the play. Does anyone have any idea how to write this letter? I am under the impression that this is almost more important than the initial letter of inquiry. I would like this theatre to take the play, so any advice would be quite helpful.

thank you.

Toni

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 Posted: Tue Nov 27th, 2007 12:52 pm
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Edd
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Mana: 

Toni,

You've already established positive contact.  "Here's the play" and a thank you for your interest works for me.

CONGRATULATIONS!

~Edd

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 Posted: Tue Nov 27th, 2007 02:30 pm
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in media res
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Mana: 
toni,

I agree with edd. You have done the work already. Just thank them for their response. Don't fill the page. Don't comment any more on the play.

"Get in, 'n Get out."

I would include a SASP as a receipt (keep it on file) and mention as the final thing in your letter your letter just before "yours truly": I have enclosed an SASP for you to acknowledge receipt.

I also, only if it is not in the theatre's available information, request to know the expected/usual turnaround time when you might expect to hear from them. I ask if they would please include on the receipt the usual turnaround time (Don't be shocked when they say "a year.") By doing this, I can mark on my calendar that date, and if not heard from within two weeks after, I can contact them. Courteous theatres always let you know this information without having to ask. But it a proper request.

As a sidebar: A publishing company just contacted me about publishing a play of mine: took them a year and a half. I told them I thought they had died. Their original turnaround: 6 months! Haven't signed the deal yet. We are talking. Another very good theatre took two years. Some, you never hear from again. Mind you, this happens even when you have an agent!

I also send anything that is full-length Priority (not Express) Mail with a confirmation receipt number. That way you can check online to make sure it got there, even though they may not mail the receipt, which they sometimes forget to do.



Congratulations,

in media res

Last edited on Tue Nov 27th, 2007 02:41 pm by in media res

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 Posted: Wed Nov 28th, 2007 01:20 am
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leon
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solargirl,

nothing says you're grateful better than cash.  so include some payola.  not too much.  you don't wanna look like you don't need the money.  :)

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 Posted: Wed Nov 28th, 2007 11:35 am
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solarcirclegirl
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Mana: 
Thank you for the responses.

I dashed off a quick and polite letter to send with the play. I would have never thought to send it priority mail and get a return reciept. That's a great idea.

They said in their initial letter to me that it could be several months before they get back to me.

I had two plays published in 2005 and it actually didn't take as long as i figured it would, but Heuer isn't Penguin or anything like that. I love this hurry up and wait game but I'm used to it. When I was in college i worked as a costume crew member and costume crew chief for run crew on two different shows, and there was a lot of that hurry up and wait stuff when you're working on first full runs of the show with crew.

Luckily i can be patient. I don't know where i learned it.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 28th, 2007 06:43 pm
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in media res
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soalrcirlcegirl,

The technical name from the Post Office is a "Delivery Confirmation."

It costs 65 cents but it is a small price for sleeping well.

in media res

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 Posted: Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 03:36 pm
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katoagogo
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Mana: 
This part may seem obvious -- to send your play out to them promptly -- but I am amazed at how many playwrights have said something like this --

--Oh, such and such theater requested my play two weeks ago.
--Did you send it?
--Not yet, I'm waiting to print it out/buy ink/to finish rewrites/buy binders... or all sorts of other excuses.

And they wait to send a play to theater that wants to read it. Why? If a theater requests a play, do not delay getting your butt to the post office to send it priority (as IMR suggests). Have supplies on hand like binders, ink, and copies, when you mail the queries. It's your business and you're the CEO and Mail Clerk. Get that play into the hands of people that want to read it.

--Kato

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