Hi. I'm currently working with a community theatre company that plans a festival of short plays in November. The idea is to stage a workshop try to develop some work and from there mentor a couple of writers and hopefully finish with four or five plays worthy of production. We'll marry these with plays from established writers to make up a full program.
Now, I'm insisting that the new writers should be paid a royalty fee for their work. Afterall if we consider it suitable for production along side the work of established writers that's their due.
Question is, how much? We're looking at a program of perhaps ten short plays and total royalty payments is a consideration.
Let's put it another way. If I posted here and asked for new work, what would you expect to be paid in rotalties?
Many thanks for the input and what a smart way of going about it Even the nay -sayers can't object to a ticket so why not the price.
Will keep you informed. The locals fondly imagine they'll be swamped with producable material and I'm trying to tell them that this writing caper isn't all that easy. Hope to be able to post inviting submissions in the not too distant future. After all it wouldn't be everybody who could say they'd been produced in Wagga Wagga.
I've used the ten percent rule myself on a couple of occassions and agree that in this way the writer shares both the rewards and the risks. My concern in this case is that from past experience the total box office will be small and ten percent would be pityfully low. I prefer to offer an either or... set fee or ten percent which ever is the greater.
Many thanks for those who've replied or read the post. You've given me the confidence to push harder
Now Jack, If I can convince them of your idea... I've done a quick calculation by the way and on expected audience numbers I'd still insist on a ten percent or $50 for the run which ever was the greater... If I can convince them to accept that can we have a short play from you for consideration?
I'll keep yuou informed and I'm delighted that you'd consider submitting.
The production is in November and the way it is shaping I think we'll try for a series of short, venue specific pieces... short being the operative word not restricted to ten minutes... if it's tweleve and it's good.... if it's eight and it's good sort of thing. Venue will be a big problem for us and the thought at present is a bus to transport an audience to various locations with of course a couple of pieces on the bus. The locations would be faily standard... a river bank, a park, parking lot perhpas an art gallery. Still in the planning stage but don't worry I'll let you know and many thanks for replying
I am not sure of the USA theatre writer guilds and union agreements, but in the UK we do not have a tradition of very short plays and the lines on what should be payable are drawn by our Independent Theatre Council who say that a work over 71 minutes is a 'full length' play and commands full fees; under 70 minutes comes in at two thirds of the fee for a full play; under 30 minutes counts as one third of the full fee and these fees are pro-rata to £5,962.00 (US $11,770.00) pre-paid against a royalty of 10% on box office.
I know this information will only be of interest to UK playwrights but I thought I would post it.