20. To What Degree

Trust is the one necessary ingredients in any production. I've had the misfortune to have had to deal with out-of-control actors and out-of-control directors, from both backstage and on stage. In these circumstances, the possibility of a meltdown within the production looms large. Things can happen on stage that will pull the audience out of the production and into the real-life danger an actor may be in. This isn't theatre. It isn't theatre if it isn't safe on stage. It can only be safe on stage if everyone knows his or her job and you can trust everyone involved in the production to do their job.

Trust is important at every stage of the writing process. I wouldn't be capable of writing anything, if I didn't trust the process; however the process also needs to be able to trust me. This trust needs to be earned. Trust needs to be there with any theatre I might work with and I know I need to be worthy of other peoples' trust. Trust is a two-way street. It always has been and always will be. Initially, I'll extend a certain degree of trust to everyone I work with and I hope a certain degree of trust will be given back. As we work together and get to know one another that trust hopefully will grow throughout the production--in a perfect world I will be able to trust everyone I'm working with more with every rehearsal and performance and I will earn more of their trust in return.

I don't like theatres that don't respond to submissions. I know some writers prefer a no response to a rejection--I don't (see #15). If I've jumped through the hoops a theatre has outlined, they owe me a response. I don't expect a response from a query letter, but I do with a dialogue sample or a script. I know some theatres are small and their staff is unpaid, but a simple form e-mail is not arduous. Still, I'm willing to cut smaller theatres some slack, but not larger organizations. When larger organizations purport to be professional, but are disrespectful of the time and energy I've put forth--they are unprofessional. If an organization says it wants to build relationships with playwrights and is then disrespectful to me or other playwrights, what am I to think? How can I trust an organization that is disrespectful? How can I trust an organization I know is unprofessional?

originally posted June 2013
reposted March 2018

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