Sunday, April 07, 2013

In case you hadn't seen it

Steven Leigh Morris profiles Jennifer Haley, Michael Sargent and Doris Baizley in an article about being a playwright in L.A. Here's an excerpt.

L.A. is a seductive place to put on a play. The city attracts some of the world's finest actors and directors. Audiences here are reputed to be open-minded and openhearted. Production costs remain a fraction of what they are in "theater cities" such as Chicago or New York.
But compared to those cities, play production here remains an activity, not an industry. There's a comparatively feeble marketing machine, which leaves most L.A. theater productions unrecognized by the nation's premier play publishers and producers. Putting on a play in L.A. has been equated with trying to build a snowman in the desert.
  I especially appreciate this assertion-- 
But dozens of top-flight playwrights have chosen to build their lives in Los Angeles. The main reason these writers remain here might seem at first glance to correspond to that old joke about why people rob banks: That's where the money is. Hollywood work is a great way for a writer to pay the bills.
While movie or TV writing as a means to prosperity may conform to a stereotype of why people stick around here, it doesn't complete the portrait. Other forces include artistic satisfaction, a sense of community, creative opportunities, having a family and friends, and belonging to a place almost all the playwrights interviewed called "home."
Read the rest here.

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