It’s been more than seven months now since I made a list of DC playwrights and started trying to rabble-rouse and organize in earnest, and when I started to think about all we’d accomplished in that short a time, I thought it was high time to do a little celebrating. We’ve done a lot:
- First, the list itself: theater practitioners throughout DC collaborated to gather roughly 200 names. Who knew there were that many of us? We are not alone.
- Next, we created the DC Playwrights Facebook Group (if you’re on the list and you’re not a member, please find it and ask for an invitation). It has proven to be an immeasurably valuable resource for knowledge-sharing, discussion, connection, support, and organization.
- Once the group was established, we held a community-wide brainstorming session at Catholic University: everyone in attendance shared a variety of short- and long-term ideas.
- We’ve held two informal workshops of new pieces, also at the Kennedy Center, thanks to our number one supporter Gregg Henry. People brought plays-in-progress, actors read them aloud, and we helped each other make them better.
- We also strutted our stuff during the Page-to-Stage Festival at the Kennedy Center. (Again, thanks to Gregg.) Seventeen of us had readings of short excerpts: diverse subject matter, diverse voices.
- We’ve held at least three informal happy hour gatherings: nothing but a chance to knock back a few, hang out with each other, gossip and talk shop, and help us all feel a bit less alone.
- We hosted a speed-dating event at Theater J, connecting playwrights with dramaturgs, artistic directors, directors, and literary managers.
- We hosted an idea-sharing session at Arena Stage, during which we discussed the role of an agent in a playwright’s life with Polly Carl.
- And all the while, behind the scenes, various committees of folks have been working on even more new programs for the coming year: creative, professional development, networking, and more.