Wednesday, July 4, 2012

"Never put your own money in the show!"

When Mel Brooks wrote the line that is the subject of this post, I don't know if he meant for us to take it seriously.

But I am.

The Kickstarter page for Prince has officially launched. Bring on excitement/extreme nerves.

Please feel free to offer any kind of support you can, monetary or otherwise, and all of us on the production team will be incredibly honored and humbled.

Here is the link.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Location, Location, Location!

What is it that they say in business about location location location?

I spent today looking at theater spaces for the upcoming production of PRINCE, and it made me think about some things.

New York City is full of theater spaces. How do you choose the right one?

There's midtown: full of rehearsal studios with makeshift blackboxes dropped all over the place between Penn Station and 59th Street on the west side. Informal, often dark places with no foot traffic, but the appeal of being close to the "Theater District". Right, like people who couldn't get tickets to Book of Mormon are going to walk by and go, "Hey! I'll go see this play I've never heard of on the 16th floor of what looks like an office building!"

Needless to say, I didn't look at any theaters in midtown.

My play is youthful. The characters are young. There is an edginess to it. There is sex on stage. There is copious drinking and drug use.

This play needs to be done downtown.

Downtown Manhattan is the birthplace of the independent theater. Even the established companies like The Atlantic and New York Theater Workshop are producing new and often provocative works. But it's the independent companies and theater spaces where the best stuff is going on. I want my play to be a part of that community, that neighborhood, that kind of creation.

I found the space I want to perform the play in today. As soon as I talk to my producing partners and make a deposit, and make it official I will be making an announcement here on the blog, but until then, know that the project is continuing to grow, and every day coming one step closer to being seen on stage.

Check back soon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I wanna be a producer...

My newest play, simply titled "Prince", is about a twenty-five year old male's quarter life crisis as a member of the millenial generation. In one day, Prince, the young man in question, finds out that his father is dead of a heart attack, and that his roommate will be moving out and getting married. It is a cynical, dark comedy that asks the question, "What does it mean to become an adult in the twenty-first century?

Prince says it best in act one of the play: "I think the only way to really accomplish something on this planet is to never work for anyone else. Never take orders from anyone".

I am embarking on a journey to produce the play myself. So far, I have put together a preliminary budget, hired a stage manager and a casting director, brought on two associate producing partners, created a production timeline, set goals for myself, and am currently learning how to create a kickstarter campaign to raise money.

I have brought my writing blog back from the dead to document this experience from the ground up, and to see what I can accomplish without taking orders from anyone.

Updates to come soon.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Interview with Ken Davenport

Ken Davenport is a commercial producer/blogger, who likes to explore innovative business practices that could be applied to the theater world. His blog was an inspiration to start this blog, and can be found here. Coming up, Ken is producing the Godspell revival that is coming back to Broadway. Ken is using a type of audience participation fundraising to put together the capital to produce the show, which I think is a genius idea, and a way to get mass groups of people interested in the show from its earliest stages. Exciting stuff.

Ken was kind enough to answer some questions for me, and I share them with you here.

GD - You mention in your blog about the best way to get someone to see your work is to produce it. But with so many people self-producing already, it seems that market is overly saturated too. What makes a reading or a production that you are invited to attractive enough to make you want to go check it out?

KD - You have to find ways to get your product to stand out amongst the hundreds of other shows out there.  casting, the director, the subject matter, etc. are all ways to make things more attractive to a producer.

GD - You are a huge proponent of using social/new media to reach new audiences and to come up with creative business solutions as a producer. What can writers do using new/social media to get their work out into the world? Is there a way that young playwrights can gain mass exposure without a producer or publisher?

KD - Every artist out there should have a website.  there great thing about this era is that an artist doesn't need a producer or publisher to start to gain fans, sell product, etc.  you are your own producer or publisher.

GD - What do you look for in a writer that makes you want to produce his/her work? For you, is it more about the writing, or is it about the relationship you develop with the writer? Or is it about the balance of the two?

KD - The work comes first.  it's all about the work.  the better the work, the easier it is to deal with an a-hole.

GD - Want to produce one of my plays?

KD - OK.

So there you have it. Look forward to a future collaboration. I'm really coming up in the world...

Many thanks again to Ken Davenport for talking to me this week. Until next time, make sure you're reading my column on

Monday, March 21, 2011

It's been a while.

According to Blogger, I have two followers. To the two of you, I apologize for my obvious lack of presence here, but I promise, it's not because I haven't been working hard! I actually am now contributing to the social networking site which is a site that connects people based on their interest in attending or taking part in arts events here in New York, be they theater, art museums, dance performances, orchestras, etc. I have a column on there now which I will be writing for weekly, and that launched last week! Definitely check it out and let me know your thoughts.

This past week I had the pleasure of connecting with theater producer Ken Davenport, whose web presence and blog were the inspiration for the creation of The Write Way. I dropped him a line to see if he would answer some questions for the blog and if he would read a script of mine, and he said sure. So I am putting together some interview questions for him and will publish the interview asap. His blog is an amazing resource for people wanting to break into the industry, as he has really smart ideas and great columns with advice for young writers/producers. Check him out at

If you have any thoughts about the new column on culturematchup, questions you'd like me to ask Ken, or if you have a commission you want to throw my way or want to read any of my plays, as always, hit me up at

More to come.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Creative Branding

This week, I started my class at The ESPA school at Primary Stages, which is an amazing resource for NYC based theater artists, be they writers, directors, or actors. This semester I am studying Marketing and Production for Playwrights with the always impressive Chris Burney and Don-Scott Cooper of NYC's Second Stage. If you are interested in every taking one of the classes at ESPA, check it out here:

The topic we were discussing this week was self-branding and marketing. One of the things that came up was the non-traditional ways needed in this ever changing market to expose your work and get your work out into the world. Query letters are a thing of the past, and who reads unsolicited submissions anymore? I spent the past couple days contemplating, and inspired by my friend Joe ( who is constantly fascinated by the effective use of social media and the internet to create business solutions and exposure, I thought, "what can I do to use modern social media to promote my business, that is, the business of me, as a writer?"

What I came up with was sort of fun.

My short play, VIOLA, was produced last year as part of a short play lab at the Payan Theatre at Roy Arias Studios in midtown ( So I put together my backstage footage, and the footage of the performance, and put it all on youtube. The goal here is to share that link around on this blog, on twitter, and on facebook, to get people seeing my work. This is a project that I want to expand on, filming other short plays, and starting a community of work that is accesible to everyone, and is free.

Right now, for an otherwise unexposed playwright, self-promotion, self-production, and exposure is key. This is just a start, and look forward to much much more from this project. I hope to develop and expand it, and get the links into the hands of a lot of people.

It may not work. Who knows. But hey, gotta at least put it out there.

Here is the link to VIOLA. Share it with your family and friends. Especially if your family and friends are producers.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Development and Self Production

One of the many frustrations that writers face is getting a play produced. How do you get a company or a producer to want to invest in your creative talents?? The best way to get a company (who will theoretically be investing time and more importantly money) interested is to prove that you are a commodity that fulfills an artistic need for their company, but also that you are offering something that can be commercially viable.

The best way to prove that is to show your resume chock full of fantastic productions that recouped all investments!

Well, wait. You can't get produced because no one's produced you before? How does that cycle get broken??

There are ways that poor, young, scrappy playwrights can produce their own work!

I have done a lot of research into theatre companies in my quest to get a play done, and something that I have learned is that a lot of theatre companies exist as a means to self-production. You start a theatre company to produce your work. It makes sense. And there are a lot of really cool groups that will help facilitate the self-production process. Here are a couple examples!

Horse Trade is a group that offers artist and company residency that gives you access to space and an artistic home to develop a new play in exchange for a few hours a month of volunteer work for the theater per month. Check them out here:

Manhattan Theatre Source is a similar company. They offer performance space free of charge, and offer marketing service as well. The one catch here is that they require you to fill 20 seats a night, charge $15 a ticket, and they keep your door profits. It's a good deal if you aren't trying to become rich off your production (which, if you are self-producing a play that you wrote, you probably aren't). Check them out here:

So get out there and produce your play. I know I'm not going to...