And on the 13th day, by lunchtime, 122 scripts had arrived. So we headed to Sweeto Burrito on University and ordered their carnivore to split (with a side of tots) and a pair of large dark beverages and got to work.
We reviewed each play’s synopsis and other “pre-read” factors, then negotiated who gets to read what over the weekend between weddings and things.
I think my “S” key still has some dried burrito juice on it.
While we continue working on the necessary permit to throw open our doors to the public as a theater (something about the location of a door – working on it), we’ve thrown open the submission door to playwrights anywhere our website reaches. Our hope is to start building our 2018-2019 season with amazing new works.
We opened our call for submissions last weekend on April 1, 2018. Our first entry came within hours of posting our guidelines. It’s a well-written drama from a Canadian playwright. In the first week, we’ve received a total of 36 submissions. We weren’t sure what to expect in terms of quantity of submissions, as The Hive Collaborative doesn’t exactly have a track record to share with playwrights considering whether to expend the effort to submit (having been on the other end of that process many time, we know what a time-consuming process that can be), nor do we yet have a wide online following. But we’re pleased that people are finding us, and we’re pleased with what we’ve seen thus far in submissions from local playwrights as well as playwrights from afar.
So far, we’ve been calibrating our evaluation system (hopefully helpful hint: the items on the submission form above the “attach script field” are important — not as important as the script, of course, in terms of weighting, but still factors pretty high in the scoring system we’re developing and into the order in which we’re reading the first 30 pages), after which we hope to start digging in in earnest. We plan to not wait until the end of the four-month submission window to review the scripts, as we’d prefer to not let things get too back-logged. Plus, we’ve got a hankering to start developing projects sooner than later. So if you’ve got something out of the oven, feel free to send it our way.
A note about “wow.” We mentioned in our submission guidelines that we’re looking for something with a “wow” factor in it. We know that might sound a bit naive and rub some people the wrong way, but we hoped there would be those who would get what we’re after (we’ll be, after all, a small theater with new works competing against more established theaters featuring known works – we’re going to need a little extra something). One playwright who submitted suggested that our request for “wow” should be a good story told well, and we don’t disagree with that. But if we can find a good story told well with a little bit of wow included to boot, we’re going to lean toward that.
To all who have submitted so far, thank you. You’ve already made for some interesting lunchtime conversations as we kick around the possibilities your scripts offer.
We had 20 minutes between meetings on Thursday. Could we shoot our call for submissions video in a 20-minute window? Ken said we should go for it. We got close, but then people started showing up for our 4 pm meeting, so we had to pull the plug, three lines shy of our full script.
We found ourselves with a few more free minutes the next day, but we weren’t wearing the same clothes. But we also didn’t have enough time to shoot the whole thing over, plus who could be expected to recreate that caliber of acting, I ask you? So we decided to just shoot the three lines and hope that nobody noticed our continuity issue.
In any case, the main point is this: while we’re working through the various permit issues with the city, we’re hoping to use the time to find one or more projects that make us go “wow.” We’re a new theater, we know, so getting the word out will be a little tricky, but we’re going to try. Did we mention there’s a cash prize?
In any case, here’s the video. You didn’t notice any continuity issues with our wardrobe, did you?