Friday, January 07, 2011

call for plays - startling facts

I posted this call for plays on the NYCPlaywrights web site late last night, but was a little worried that I wouldn't get any submissions, because it's pretty unusual - if not unique. Instead of a production of your play you win an online analysis of your play. I wondered if anybody would submit work. But I got fourteen submissions in the first day - and the deadline isn't until February 15.

However, two startling facts:

Of the fourteen submissions on the first day, only ONE was from a female playwright. Now I knew that there were more male than female playwrights, and plenty of studies have demonstrated that men as a group have higher self-esteem than women - although that's what you would expect from a patriarchy. But one out of FOURTEEN? Even I didn't expect that. I will have to see how this plays out by February 15. I will report the statistics on this blog.

The second startling fact. Back in August I blogged about the fact that I'd seen no less than three plays about the World Trade Center attack in which somebody's lover could not accept the fact that their loved one died in the attack - and so the play was about the lover hallucinating that the person was still alive. Well guess what - today the fourth variation on that theme was submitted to NYCPlaywrights.

What IS it about the WTC attack that makes people write plays in which one person thinks a dead person is still alive???

I've only seen two plays about the WTC attack that DON'T use that trope - THE GUYS by Anne Nelson - which I thought was only so-so but it was fun to get to see Marlow Thomas on stage. And my own play, THE HELICOPTER, which I happen to think is swell. I did a production of it in my January 2009 evening of 10-minute plays STRESS AND THE CITY.


  1. Cool book! I hadn't thought of looking at my cartoon histories, but will. Your percentages of 1 in 14 are a bit lower than traditional media, but not much (from yesterday) New Yorker Boycotted for Lack of Female Writers / I wonder what their submission vs publication m/f ratio is. Thanks for sharing your details of the ins-and-outs of theater production.

  2. Thanks Wes.

    Yeah I've blogged about the New Yorker's sad male:female writer ratio before. And back in 2001 a blog I read (forget the name) did a whole statistical analysis of a year's worth of New Yorkers. So here we are, ten years later, and it doesn't seem to have gotten a bit better.

    However, I would take the Jezebel author's concerns about sexism much more seriously if she didn't use the word "ballsy" to mean courage.