I have a question. With the internet making productions possible all over the world - by a simple attachment to a short email - how many of you have plays that have been produced that you've never even seen? I ask because I have several plays that have been produced many times - some even published - that I have never seen performed in front of an audience. When I have a new play ready to leave the nest, I often make a video tape of the production part of the royalty agreement. Still, I have a handful of my plays that I have yet to see. One in particular has been produced over 20 times (published), and I have absolutely no idea how it plays onstage. I'm usually pretty confident what I decide to be the final draft is ready to be tackled by actors and directors, but one can never be too sure. So I'm just wondering how many of you out there are in the same boat.
Yep I'm in the same boat, a number of my plays have been produced overseas and naturally I haven't been able to get there to see them. Not at all sure that a video is a great idea even though I've been offered one. I don't think a stage production videos well... very flat... and probably gives a wrong impression of the performance?
Yeah, I've gotten my fair share of flat video tapes that made me wonder why I even started writing in the first place. However, I've also received a few that actually exceeded my expectations. In fact, I was having troubles with my latest play until I saw it tackled by group of truly exceptional high school performers in Georgia. Their endless creativity helped me work out all the kinks, and now I'm more proud of that play than any other. Although, it helps that they performed in front of an enormous audience, had a professional tape the show from 3 angles, and had a budget that would make any high school director green with envy.
I have several plays where either I've never seen a production, only seen one, or only seen a video tape. I always tells groups that they are free to produce a video, as long as I can receive a copy. Sometimes they do and I get one, sometimes the video never quite makes it in the mail, but it is nice to at least get a taste. I've been fortunate to have several of my more recent plays staged locally first, but I have one play that's been done several times, and the only production I saw was, frankly, pretty bad! I wish I could see more of my productions; I think it takes a few different ones before you can get a nice well-rounded look at how it plays and how the audience will react.
As some of you may know, my "Business Is War" has been staged in several countries. Since the script was posted at a now-defunct site - but given Google's ability to archive anything that's ever been online - it's certainly probable that it's been performed without my knowledge (despite my setting up a Google Alert for "business is war" - not all productions are internet-friendly).
I'm not too bothered about it. Sure, it's my work and I'd like to see what people do with it, but if it's bringing pleasure to people at no additional cost to me, I'm happy.
To date I have five plays published. My first play, AND THEN THERE WAS ONE, has been my most successful play with productions both in and out of the U.S. However, I have yet to see someone else stage my work, although I do occasionally see production photos posted on the net. I agree, it isn't imperative to see one's own work produced, however, it would be interesting to see how one's original vision is conceptualized by another. Although I write primarily for the high school market, I have been surprised by the number of church groups that do my plays.
...i teach and therefore have ample time to travel during the summer. Have used my short play productions as reason to take family vacation time to NYC, DC, ILL, & CA to see my stuff....(only once was i disappointed with production)
Couldn't make it to Texas last winter; had used all my personal leave at school. (sometimes i actually have to work) ....all in all, i don't make any money on my plays but seeing the plays and meeting all the people who do them has been rewarding, educational and downright fun....(also makes for a good tax write off to boot. :)
**RLN: thanks for the nod to Cedar Lane Theatre in other thread...i took a peek at your website. very cool**
(side note: there's only seventeen people who live in North Dakota. if only two of them saw your play, that would be a good percentage ;)