Sunday, November 30, 2008

Come Rain or Come Shine

As I write this it is 6:00 am, and raining hard outside. But the show must go on! The initial meeting of 517 Playwrights will be held today at 3563 Georgetown Road, beginning at 2:00 pm, regardless of the weather.

Even if you have not signed up before, you are welcome to join us. You need not bring a play to participate. You need not be a playwright. All you need to be is interested in new plays whether as an actor, audience member, director or playwright; heck, you can be a theatre critic and come. Everyone is welcome!

Come one, come all and meet Lexington area playwrights who have scripts that they want to share.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Its not too late!

Join us tomorrow at 3563 Georgetown Road, Lexington, KY for our first new play reading opportunity. Leave you name and the number of people coming with you as a "comment" and come join us! Nothing else is required. As of today, I am expecting about 14 people. But there is room for more people, maybe a dozen more. So don't be shy. Come join us.

Directions: From New Circle Road (in Lexington) take the Georgetown Road exit (US 25) head out of town (towards Georgetown) and go four miles. Look for the baloons that will mark the drive and voila, you're at the inaugeral meeting of 517 Playwrights! See ya at 2:00 pm.

One thing read our "Rules" so you can know what to expect!

If you have a play you'd like read bring it along with enough copies so that our readers don't have to crowd around a single (or only a few) scripts. Thanks.

Need more information about us? Read the other entries on this blog.

For up to the moment information you can also visit us at

Friday, November 28, 2008

Bring Plays and Copies of Plays

You do not need to be a playwright to attend the reading of new plays this Sunday afternoon; all who have an interest in new plays are invited. However, if you are a playwright and do want to hear one of your plays read, please bring enough copies to make the reading of your play easier. Ideally, we'd like you to bring one copy for every character-- 4 characters = 4 copies. On the other hand if a character has a single line, or does not speak, then fewer copies are fine. Please just keep in mind that if six readers are sharing a single script that you are less likely to get a true feel for how your script "sounds." In short, use common sense in determining how many copies of the script are necessary.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

God Bless America

While enjoying this day with family and friends, give thanks for this wonderful country where writers are free to write what they are inspired to say. Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Play reading "RULES"

The purposes of the playreading this coming Sunday are: to allow time for conversation and "shop" talk; to read aloud plays that many playwrights may only have heard themselves read; and to allow playwrights to receive feedback from those who attend the reading.

We will gather at 2:00 and begin the readings at between 2:15 and 2:30 depending upon how many people are present and whether or not more are still arriving.

We will begin by reading the shortest plays first (1 minute, 10 minute, 1 act and then full-length).

We will discuss 1-10 minute length plays for 10 minutes each; 1 act plays will be discussed for 20 minutes; full-length plays for 30 minutes.

Discussions may last for less than the allotted time per play, but I will strictly enforce the upper limits of discussion or we will get bogged down and not get as many plays read and discussed as we could otherwise.

I am not trying to cut off discussion but to keep things moving; remember, you can always discuss a play with its playwright privately.

When discussing a play either make a POSITIVE comment (I liked how you did X) or ask a question (Why did John do Y?). Please do NOT make negative comments about a play.

Generally, playwrights have put a lot of thought and time into their works and negative comments will (more often then not) simply put him/her on the defensive. A person in a defensive posture is unlikely to hear your negative comment. However, a good question can cause a playwright to write down your question and consider later whether or not to change the play.

Playwrights may NOT respond to any question asked about their play (nor comment upon it once the reading of their play has begun).

Playwrights may, if necessary, respond to questions privately. Responding to questions publicly will use valuable time and prevent other participants from speaking about that particular play.

Discussion by the playwright prolongs the reading process. The purpose of the reading is for the author to receive feedback not have an opportunity to lecture those in attendance.

Commentators should keep both comments and questions SHORT.

Let's keep things moving!

Speak only once about a play unless everyone present has had an opportunity to speak and the moderator SPECIFICALLY opens the floor for a second round of questions/comments.

Playwrights need to hear as many points of view as possible, not just yours (or mine).

Have a good time.

Come back for the next new plays reading.

The next new plays reading will be in January 2009. Check the twitter site and this one for the date, time and place!

Newspaper article now online!

The Rich Copley newspaper article about 517 Playwrights that originally appeared in the Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader on November 23, 2008 is now available online at:

Please RSVP

If you can come to the play reading this weekend, please let us know. As of right now we are expecting about a dozen people. The house where we're meeting could probably hold double that, perhaps more. However, as with any "party" we need to know how many to plan for. If you don't know if you can come for sure, tell us you're coming: better too many snacks than not enough.

Just send us a comment. Give us your first name and the number of people who will be coming with you. Thanks.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Playwrights Forum

For more information about play writing visit the The Playwrights Forum at address

For more about 517 Playwrights follow us on

First New Plays Reading: November 30, 2008

The first reading of new plays to be sponsored by 517 Playwrights will be held Sunday November 30, 2008 beginning at 2:00 pm. Whether you are a playwright, actor or "just" an interested theatre fan come to our initial meeting of 517 Playwrights and help us get this new venture off to an exciting start.

If you have a script you'd like to have read please bring several copies of the play so that readers don't have to share a single copy; ideally, there should be one copy per reader (character). Of course this may not be practical (or necessary) if a script with 15 characters can be read by five readers.

The reading will be held at 3563 Georgetown Road, Lexington, KY.


From New Circle Road take the Georgetown Road exit; turn out of town and go 4 miles out Georgetown Road. Look for a three story brick house on the left; balloons will mark the drive.

Hope to see you this Sunday at 2:00 pm.

Bill McCann