Erik Sherman

Complex ideas elegantly expressed

Producer’s Notebook

It’s been about a week, now, and with about a week left, eleven playwrights have already emailed. The guidelines for the plays were, I thought, specific:

· one act plays running approximately 30 to 40 minutes

· no script longer than 35 pages in standard format and 12 point Courrier or Times Roman

· no more than five characters

· minimum technical requirements

· playwrights must be Massachusetts residents

Out of the writers who responded (and, mind you, some of these categories overlap):

· 2 wanted to submit pieces longer than the maximum length

· 1 script indicated a really big prop that would be hard to acquire and harder to make

· 1 script thought that a unit set with doors for a single night production was “minimal set requirements and it also called for lighting effects, wardrobe, and specific music selections

· 1 play was 6 years old while another was 14 – for a night of “new works”

· 2 scripts called for seven parts (one forgetting to mention two walk-ons in the character break-down).

· 1 play calls for a king-sized bed on stage

· 1 play starts by requiring three playing areas, fine enough, then starts specifying necessary furniture, the ability to hang a sheet in the air, and a cyclorama or screen for projected images


The producer is always— always—the first to get frustrated and the last.

Second Entry

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