Amy Wegener of Actors Theatre of Louisville attended the June 7th meeting bringing solid advice and lots of encouragement about the play contest. Ms. Wegener's comments helped the judges clarify what was most important in choosing plays.
Discussion focused on questions like: from a practical standpoint can the play be produced in the space and with the resources available; are actors available for the roles; does the play sustain itself for its entire length; is diversity important in terms of such matters as where playwrights are from, gender (of playwrights and/or of the characters in their plays)? And so forth.
We did not read or discuss particular plays with Ms. Wegener. We did however, get into practical considerations regarding the contest such as venues in which to produce the selected plays (TBA after confirmation of the dates with the venue owner), the care and feeding of playwrights LOL:)! (contracts, contacting and working with out-of-area playwrights, etc.), where and how to find actors and directors for the plays we select and who, how and (even) whether or not to select a (single) winning play.
Though many of the questions were discussed at some length I'm not sure it is possible to say that we came up with many answers. In fact, it may be most accurate to say that we simply decided to defer conclusive answers to our next meeting on June 28th at 2:00 pm. Between June 7th and June 28th the final 15 plays will be read by all four judges with an eye towards selecting the final 6 to 10 plays that will ultimately be produced.
Once the finalists are chosen the playwrights will be contacted to notify them of their selection and to get formal permission to produce their work before winners names are posted on this blog and on the Playwrights Forum. Hopefully, posting of winners will happen sometime in mid-July or early August.
Pending confirmation of the dates and times production of the selected plays will be the second weekend in October 2009, October October 9, 10 and 11.