Holey Camoley! That is 7 times the highest rate I have ever seen charged!
If you do not have the money/interest/dedication/belief in your own talents to support your program, do not get it from the wallets of submitting playwrights, when only you AND your organization will benefit. And most likely the winner will JUST HAPPEN…JUUUUUUST HAAAAAAPENN to be someone you already know! Hmmmmm….isn't it funny how it all works.
Sounds like a con to me.
If you need money, go out and raise it and then sponsor it. And have a blind submission.
I wouldn't pay that if the Artistic Director was Tommy Tune (whom I saw last night in his one man show) or Mike Nichols. 15 or so Tony awards between them.
GIVE me $65 and MAYBE I might submit!
We have each other's backs on this site. The Dramatist Guild does not support the idea of any submission fees. We do not either.
But we genuinely do appreciate your checking with your people to make sure they waive the submission fee.
Paying a submission fee is like giving someone hustling on a street corner money to, maaaaaaaybeeeee say, "I love you."
You have some people who are involved who could fund the entire enterprise by cutting one check, or several checks between them. One of them a wonderful Tony Award winner who is brilliant. They are all nice people, don't get me wrong.
But, it's a total tax write-off for them.
That is Capitalism (and the tax law.) That is what this country is built on. (For better or for worse. I am neutral on the subject.)
And, if they believed in the successful outcome of the enterprise, why do they not - individually or collectively - cut the check for everything, take the winner and produce it themselves? If it loses money, they get a nice tax write-off. If it makes money...they make more money!!!
It's pretty simple. I've done it on a smaller scale. Some came out ahead. Some did not. I'm still happy. In each instance, it was the belief in the effort that was worthwhile.
What you are saying is, if you were a restaurant owner, "If you want to eat dinner at my establishment, you have to pay me "just to walk through the door" and look at the menu.
You are telling people, "Look, you blindly invest in our enterprise, and if it makes money, you will not."
I still wish you the best. I just think you have your values in the wrong place. And, as I have always said on this website since DAY ONE is what I learned in Consumer Economics in my Roman Catholic high school in my sophomore year (and won the medal for it that year) in Latin - Caveat Emptor: Let The Buyer Beware.
There are several other things which make me worry about this event. It looks like the shows will be cast through actors paying for a workshop.
The school that this is being performed through, The Santa Fe Institute of Art and Design, has a administrations rate of 100%, and a freshmen retention rate of 45.3%.
The festival also helpfully announces that they can put you up in their dorms at a discounted rate if you wish to see the show and that they offer "Seminars and workshops geared toward helping you successfully prepare, present, and promote your SFMTF staged reading".
My impression is that they are seeking to profit directly out of the pockets of the artists involved.
Sadly, $50 is not the highest reading fee I've seen. I was recently taken aback by a festival that was charging $300.