What's the Big Idea?

Jobs for Playwrights

By Gwydion | Jan 10, 2012 | 12 Comments

We are all well aware of the recent moves by a few larger theaters to add playwrights to their payrolls. Great stuff, right? But lately I’ve been trying to think more creatively. (That’s what we do, after all, isn’t it?) What I’ve been wondering is why playwrights aren’t on staff (or even hired as temporary […]

Read More

Playwrights Code of Ethics

By Gwydion | Dec 12, 2011 | 34 Comments

You may be familiar with a 1945 code of ethics for theater workers that’s floated around from time to time. It’s basically a list of standards that actors informally swear to uphold. It’s pretty neat. It seems to me that we playwrights ought to have our own code of ethics. What do you think of […]

Read More

In Defense of Linearity

By Gwydion | Dec 1, 2011 | 15 Comments

I have been thinking about the following excerpt from John Lahr’s review of THE MAN WHO — Peter Brook’s stage adaptation of the Oliver Sacks book “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” — for quite some time now: What we call “I” — the self that we spend a lifetime making and […]

Read More


By Gwydion | Nov 21, 2011 | 4 Comments

Everything you think about genes is probably wrong. For example, you probably think — because this is what you were told in high school, not to mention what you read in even the most reputable newspapers — that there are genes for certain eye colors. There aren’t. (You may be protesting already, but I promise […]

Read More

Playwrights Wish List

By Gwydion | Nov 15, 2011 | 16 Comments

After consultation with a variety of people, I wanted to take a moment to re-cast the Playwrights Wish List so that it was, in fact, more clearly a list of wishes. Rather than indicating what “should” or shouldn’t be, I’m thinking it’s more appropriate to lay out what we “wish” were the case, in the […]

Read More

Kill the Cliché

By Gwydion | Sep 12, 2011 | 7 Comments

Several years ago, I used to teach creative writing to 10-12 year-old students during the summers to make ends meet (and, I should add, because I really enjoyed doing it). One of my favorite exercises went something like this: First, I gave the students three minutes of free-writing time: they had to keep their pens […]

Read More

The Ideal Post-Show Discussion

By Gwydion | Aug 5, 2011 | 10 Comments

The other day on Twitter, Theater J asked what I instantly thought was a great series of questions, which I will paraphrase here: What would your ideal post-show discussion look like? Where is it? Who is it with? What is it about? My ideal post-show discussion would not, first and foremost, be a talk-back. It […]

Read More

My Father

By Gwydion | Jul 29, 2011 | 9 Comments

For those who’ve been asking for it, here is the eulogy I delivered for my father, Stephen Alsop, who died in an automobile accident on Sunday night in Nashville, TN, while fulfilling a lifelong dream to visit the Grand Ole Opry: There is no one single true story about a person’s life. A life is […]

Read More

Toward a Digital Theater

By Gwydion | Jul 18, 2011 | 5 Comments

Essays that begin “Toward a…” typically argue for whatever follows the ellipsis. In this case, I have no intention of trying to advocate for a Digital Theater. Not because I don’t want one, mind you, but because I believe one is coming whether I want one or not. That is to say, I believe that […]

Read More

The Cost of Fringe Tickets

By Gwydion | Jul 15, 2011 | 42 Comments

Right now in DC we find ourselves in the middle of the Capital Fringe Festival. I’m a proud Fringe veteran myself; I did a reading of my play ABSTRACT NUDE in the first festival, then produced it there the following year. I had a sold-out run, got lots of publicity, and (most importantly) made theater […]

Read More
Scroll to Top