With the permission of the Dramatists Guild, I am going to be re-publishing my regional reports here on my blog after they’ve been published in print and released to members. My thinking is that (in some cases, at least) the columns I write will interest other theater practitioners and non-Guild members as well. I’m glad they agree!
This first column, however, was (at their request) simply an introduction, given that I’ve only just joined the ranks of regional representatives. I share it with you nonetheless, however, in order to set the stage for what’s to come.
Here are the first three words that crossed my mind when the good folks at the Dramatists Guild asked me to introduce myself: â€œIn print? Seriously?â€
I am, you see, very much a creature of the electronic world. Iâ€™ve maintained a playwrightsâ€™ blog (www.suilebhan.com) for years now; I built it myself. I also contribute to two or three other well-known theater blogs on an ongoing basis. Iâ€™m immersed in social networks. Iâ€™m a very active user of Twitter (@GwydionS)â€”by â€œactiveâ€ I mean more than 23,000 tweetsâ€”and I co-founded a well-used DC-Area Playwrights Facebook group. I use Pinterest; I have videos on YouTube; I own an iPad and a Droid smartphone and an HD Flip Cam; I study my blogâ€™s analytics data. I even maintain a limited presence on Google+, though I do have to admit that I use it primarily to video chat with friends and creative collaborators.
Compared to all of that, print seems both dated and slow. I hardly even know what itâ€™s for any more. (Though I must admit that, before I signed on to serve as DC representative, when I got my issue of The Dramatist every month, I did tend to turn right to this column to see what my former rep decided to write about. By taking on this new role, Iâ€™ve spoiled that surprise!) In fact, Iâ€™m reasonably certain that Iâ€™ve already interacted with a significant percentage of the DC regionâ€™s playwrights digitally; very few DCers reading this column, if any, will be complete strangers.
Thatâ€™s why I intend to use this space, when I have the honor of filling it, to share ideas and inspiration with colleagues NOT in my area. Iâ€™ll broadcast (and crow about) all the cool things weâ€™ve discovered and doneâ€¦ and what weâ€™re planning to do next. I have no doubt that, with as vital a community as we haveâ€”220 playwrights strong in the DC metropolitan area, which is now by some measures the second-largest theater community in the countryâ€”there will be plenty of stories to tell! In fact, weâ€™ve already got great things lined up for the second half of this year.
Of course, if you donâ€™t want to wait to read my next report, no worries: feel free to reach out to me on Facebook, on Twitter, or through my blog. Iâ€™ll be happy to hear from youâ€¦ and pleased to share whatever news I can in real time!
To demonstrate my central thesis here, I have to note that I’ve now actually passed 25,000 tweets since this intro was written. The digital world moves much too quickly for print to keep up!