April is National Playwriting Month, and it just so happens to be Shakespeare’s birthday on the 23rd. But even if you’re not the Bard, every writer needs a great toolkit to maintain their workflow. Whether it’s for visibility, support, or community, here are six resources that make a playwright’s job easier and more fun.
The Dramatists Guild of America is the national, professional membership trade association of theater writers committed to shepherding playwrights through the business and legal standards of the theater industry. Among other benefits, members have access to contract templates and best practices, answers to business and legal questions, opportunities for networking, and discounts for goods and services related to theater and theater-making. Right now, they are in the midst of their End of Play.™ challenge to motivate writers to complete a new play or a new draft by the end of the month. The DG is an invaluable resource for playwrights who are serious about the business of playwriting.
Your Regional Playwriting Hub
No playwright is an island (or something like that), and writing can be incredibly isolating, so joining up with your regional playwriting hub(s) can offer you the support, resources, opportunities, and community that you won’t otherwise receive. We at BTD are, of course, partial to Chicago Dramatists. The good news is that they and most other similar groups welcome people from all over the country into their programs, especially now that many events have pivoted online. Other similar organizations include New Dramatists, Playwrights Realm, and The Lark in NYC, PlayPenn in Pennsylvania, Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, ScriptWorks in Texas, Old Pueblo Playwrights in Arizona, The Inkwell Theater in Los Angeles, Playwrights Foundation in the Bay Area, and PDX Playwrights and Northwest Playwrights Alliance in the Pacific Northwest.
Your playwriting toolkit is incomplete without the right software. We’ve come a long way since quill pens and vellum, baby, and Final Draft will make your writing as easy and painless as possible with its outline and storyboarding features, ScriptNotes, formatting tools, and an inclusivity analysis to show you where there might be room for more diversity in your script.
A script in 30 days? Yes, you can! This 30-day challenge from The Producer’s Perspective gives you daily emails with step-by-step prompts and motivation to get your script written in just one month. Bonus: it’s free, and you can start anytime.
So you’ve written a play, now what? This online platform practically automates the submission process, saving you lots of time writing instead of searching for theaters to submit your script. Oh, and it’s updated monthly, so over the course of a year, there are hundreds of theaters and festival opportunities to get your script that much closer to production.
New Play Exchange (NPX) is the world’s most extensive digital library of scripts by living writers. Under the umbrella of the National New Play Network, NPX offers writers a platform to share their work and be discovered by organizations and readers looking for plays. Curated playlists and a highly comprehensive search tool are just some of the features to help readers find what they’re looking for and help writers achieve the visibility and findability they won’t get anywhere else.
Here’s to your next great play!
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