Monday, January 07, 2008

Tom Loughlin: One New Play

Like me, Tom Loughlin at "A Poor Player" has been silent for a while, but he comes roaring back with a practical proposal for college theatre departments across America: a "One New Play Campaign." He writes (and read the whole thing here):

I think it’s simple: every theatre department in the country should commit one of their production slots a year to the production of one new play. Ideally, that play should be regional in nature, featuring the work of a playwright from within the region. But I would not make that a requirement. All that matters is that one new play a year gets done on every college campus each year. It can be either a student-produced play or a department-produced play. It can be the work of a student in the department (!) or the work of an outside playwright. Any work that remains unpublished (i.e. not available through Sam French or Dramatists or Baker’s Plays or any other publishing outlet for royalties) would qualify.

This is a great idea, Tom, one I'd like to take a step further. I propose that theatre departments not only do a new play, but also create a course in their curriculum that includes the reading and discussing of at least one new play (preferably a lot more). Don't stop that theatre history course at Angels in America -- what's happening today? In a previous post, I suggested what might be called a "contemporary drama" course that would involve reading whatever plays are published in American Theatre that year (and also reading the articles in that magazine) and a group of unpublished plays by contemporary playwrights who would be willing to talk to the students about their plays, either via email, a blog, a conference call, whatever.

I am willing to create such a course. If you are a playwright who would be willing to have one of your plays included in the reading list, and would be willing to discuss it with the students, email me at I'm on sabbatical this semester, so my course load when I return in the fall may be filled with catchup courses, but I will endeavor to get this set up as soon as I can.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Will the Humanities Save Us?

and for that matter..."Who is John Galt"