John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC



A heads-up to members of this mailing list - the next call for submissions for the NYCPlaywrights Podcast will be on the theme of "rants and raves" and we will be looking for monologues only. More details of the call for submissions will be posted on the Podcast website in the upcoming week.

If you want to get a sense of what the podcasts are like and the kind of work we tend to select, you can check them out here:

SHARK WEEK, by Tom Misuraca for the "Midsummer Podcast":

CONTES DU CAMP CANADIAN by Vivian Lermond for the "O Canada" episode:

LOVERBOY by Michael Jalbert for "Supernatural Podcast:

NYCPlaywrights Podcast: https://www.playwrightspodcast.com?blast20181110

The Podcast is also available on:


Google Play Music:


NYCPlaywrights is giving away a voucher for a pair of free tickets to LURED by Frank J. Avella.

As always we are giving the voucher away on a first-come, first-serve basis so email us as soon as you get this message at info@nycplaywrights.org to ask for it.

Based on factual accounts and events, LURED focuses on one particular Russian hate group's attack on a young gay man and the repercussions that follow, when his loved ones decide to take action. In this current world climate, the play could not be timelier. LURED is for mature audiences only.

LURED performance schedule is as follows: Thurs., Nov. 8th - Sun., Nov. 25th, Thurs., Fri., Sat. at 8pm and Sun. at 3pm.  With added performances on Sat., Nov. 10th at 3pm and Mon., November 19th at 8pm.

For more information see https://www.luredtheplay.com

If you're too late for the free tickets you can still get discounted tickets. More details:


Wed, November 28, 2018
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM EST

We're thrilled to welcome back this showcase of the incredible talents of Muslims in the Big Apple, hosted by the Islamic Center of NYU's Professionals Group (ICP). If the first four events are anything to go by, the evening promises to be filled with laughter, reflection and even a few tears as performers bring the event's theme 'blessings' to life through spoken word, comedy, song, and more! During these challenging times, we need to come together to celebrate who we are on our terms, beyond the headlines. Muslims Unscripted aims to do just that by creating a safe space to amplify diverse voices and experiences in our communities. You don't want to miss this event!

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
126 Crosby St
New York, NY 10012



Breaking Through the Box, a Bordentown, New Jersey based Non-Profit Theater Company, is looking for plays written by up-and-coming playwrights (or new work by published playwrights) for our 2019-2020 season.
The theme of the season is “The Power of Art”, and we are looking for one to two new plays/musicals to showcase. This theme could relate to art within the story of the play, or the specific art form the play is written in (Forensic Theater, Devised Theater, Theater of the Oppressed). This play will not only be produced but also have opportunities for workshopping and feedback on the script once cast and before rehearsals begin.

Now in our third year, Corkscrew Theater Festival is a curated presentation of new work by early career artists concentrated over four weeks at the Paradise Factory Theater in the summer of 2019. This year’s festival, running July 10-August 4, will contain four fully realized productions receiving ten performances each, and four “reading slots” for work to be heard publicly for the first time. Corkscrew seeks projects that demonstrate real collaboration, especially if they are being created through innovative or nontraditional partnerships or models.

Las Vegas Little Theatre 2019 Annual New Works Competition
1. All plays must be full length (90 minutes or more). No musicals please.
2. Plays must have no more than 8 actors– doubling characters is allowed
3. The set must be simple or representational.
4. Ideally looking for subject matter that will appeal to an age range of 18 – 30.
5. Seeking new plays that have not been professionally produced or published.
6. Plays will be screened by the competition committee. The top 5 will be submitted to the judges.
7. Prizes – 1st prize = Production of the play in the Fischer Black box in May plus $150
2nd prize = $75
3rd prize = $50

*** For more information about these and other opportunities see the web site at http://www.nycplaywrights.org ***


Hey there, young playwright! Below you’ll find a few helpful hints to consider as you set out to write a ten-minute play. We hope you’ll find these tips useful as you imagine, write and revise.
Remember, though: these are only tips. Suggestions. That’s it. Not rules. When it comes to the world of your play, you get to pick the limits and laws of the universe. You’re the playwright—that means you’re in charge.
So: Maybe the laws of gravity don’t apply to your hero. Maybe your play takes place at the very beginning of time, or the very end. Your characters might be average, everyday people living in Kentucky at the present moment, right now. Or they might be two-hundred-year-old Argentine ghosts. Or carpenter ants. Or hallucinations, or elephants, or zombies, or trees, or talking paper clips. You decide.
Here are a few guiding principles to get you started. But after that, go crazy. Have fun. Make a mess. Scare someone silly, crack the crowd up laughing, or leave them scratching their heads. The only limits are the borders of your own imagination. We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

What’s your problem?!
There should be some sort of conflict at the heart of your play. In a ten-minute play especially, it’s important to introduce the conflict quickly—within the first three pages, probably—so there’s plenty of time to develop, explore and finally resolve it. For instance: Two monsters both want to eat the same giant cheeseburger billboard. Neither is willing to share. The purple monster called dibs, but the green monster has bigger claws...

Whaddya want?
Your characters—whether human, zombie, or superhero—should be guided by strong, clear motivations. What do they want? What’s at stake for them right now: what do they stand to lose or gain? What choices do they have to make? What obstacles do they face? Do they change during the play? How? Why?


Ten-minute plays: the most fun you can have in a theatre?

What's so great about a play that's over in the time it takes to boil an egg? Quite a lot, if Manchester's JB Shorts season is anything to go by, writes Alfred Hickling

Plays, it seems, are like wool: a fine, natural product subject to shrinkage over time. Consider how the average duration of stage drama has been whittled down since Shakespeare's time. The standard format used to be five acts, which went on all afternoon. By the beginning of the 20th century it had come down to three acts, with two intervals, to satisfy the coach parties. These days it's generally 90 minutes, with no interval, to satisfy people who've booked a nice little table somewhere. But why stop there? Why shouldn't playwrights try to say everything they've got to say in 30 minutes? Or even 10?


Writing a 10-Minute play is easy! All you have to do is come up with an ingenious idea, figure an inventive and enthralling stage mechanism, employ riveting and tender characters, serve boiling hot action, and implant sensational dialog. And get it under 10 minutes.

No problem! That’s all there is to it. So you can stop reading now.

Oh wait, sorry, when I wrote that it was easy, I meant hard. Challenging. Baffling. Rife with the potential danger of turning you into a psychotic mess.

And if you thought writing a 10-Minute Play was all this…try teaching it! Last week I twice taught a seminar on writing the 10-Minute Play. The first seminar I taught was at The Playwrights’ Center. The second session, the reprise, occurred at the Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival. I would gauge both sessions as not a total failure since 1) only 5 people fell asleep during my presentations, and 2) no one walked out on me. The latter maybe because there wasn’t an intermission?


I love ten-minute plays. I love them as a writer, and I love them as a teacher. Why do I love them – or more importantly, why should you be writing them? Let me count the ways:

They’re short, so you can finish them, maybe even several of them in a fairly short period of time. And finishing writing projects boosts your confidence and provides momentum and inspiration for the next project.  Need proof? The next time someone asks what you’re working on, which answer will feel better:
Answer #1: I’ve been working on a screenplay, but I’m kind of stuck.

Answer #2: I just finished a ten-minute play that I’m submitting to festivals now.

Agents, producers and others you want to read your work are far more likely to do so if they only have to invest ten minutes rather than two hours. But they can’t sell ten-minute plays, I hear you cry. No – but if they like your ten-minute play they are far more likely to read your full-length work, and to read it with a positive mindset because they liked your shorter work.

Marathon runners don’t run marathons every day – they train at shorter distances and work up to them. They build muscles, stamina and technique. Writing ten-minute plays can do the same for you if your ultimate goal is to write full-length screenplays, stage plays or even long-form TV series.


I read a lot of ten-minute plays. Not only do I co-curate BUA Takes 10: GLBT Short Stories, but I run TRADE A PLAY TUESDAY and often participate myself (contrary to some beliefs, I do NOT read every play that comes in, only if I’m trading myself), as well as read for several other festivals and contests. It’s fair to say I read and/or see hundreds of ten-minute plays a year. I’ve also written nearly three dozen that have had productions around the world. As such, and even though there are great books out there on the ten-minute play (Gary Garrison’s A More Perfect Ten, for starters), I’m going to list what I feel (and as always, your mileage may vary) are the most common problems, the ones that generally preclude a play getting chosen for our festival or me recommending a play for another, and the things I find myself commenting on most often when others ask me for feedback. (And as a thorough disclaimer, these are clearly MY opinions only; I have seen any and all of these types of plays chosen and presented in festivals, but, I have to admit, I’m never sure why.)

1) It takes too long to get going.  In a ten-minute play, audiences should know or at least suspect what the conflict is by page two. Very often, there is a lot of introductory and lead-up dialogue before the story actually starts on page four or five. This means it’s actually a five-minute play with a bunch of filler up front. Four or five pages in a ten-minute play is too much to waste.


Seems you can’t swing a dead cat or any other metaphorical animal these days without knocking into a ten-minute play. How the devil did this happen? Isn’t a play supposed to be at least long enough to fill up the space between dinner and bedtime? Theatre Database tells us: Although Pierre Loving published a book of "ten-minute plays" in 1923…the “official debut” of the ten-minute play as a genre is usually traced back to the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s 1977 Humana Festival of New American Plays. What began there as a quirky exercise in “Polaroid playwriting” has since evolved into nothing short of a theatrical phenomenon—an exciting and powerful new format that has altered the theatrical landscape with its possibilities. While I’ll go along with the “theatrical phenomenon” tag and the idea that the theatrical landscape has been altered, I will also note that not all phenomena and changes to landscapes are positive. For example, you could experience the phenomenon of being slimed by the ghost of TS Eliot while watching Cats (the existence of which, of course, being why TS Eliot’s ghost could not rest in peace), or you could be dealt a change in the landscape such as The Music Box Theatre being replaced by a West 45th Street Hooters, and despite the tastiness of their hot wings, this would not tip the scale in the direction of a “good outcome.”


10 minute plays are exactly what they sound like: they are plays that only last around ten minutes. Since television and the internet are becoming more popular the theatre business has, sadly, declined a little. The demand for full length plays (also known as evening-length plays, lasting usually +80 minutes) is not what it once was. Now theaters are more willing to produce collections of several 10 minute plays all at once.

Most 10 minute plays have a few things in common, such as:

Minimalist Setting/Properties

10 minute plays generally do not have a lot of demands when it comes to how their stage should be set, what kind of lighting there should be, they only call for a handful of props, and don't require exotic costumes. This is because no theater wants to create an enormous backdrop for something that only lasts ten minutes, they probably have ten other 10 minute plays waiting and only a little time to get everything together to perform them.

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- Charles Bukowski



Watching my characters


I thought this was interesting

In 1922, Ernest Hemingway was working on a temporary newspaper assignment in Lausanne, Switzerland. Journalism was his day job; at night, he wrote fiction, the thing he cared about most in the world. He was 23 years old. None of his fiction had ever been published. He and his then-wife, Elizabeth Hadley Richardson, lived in Paris, as did F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, and many other American expatriate artists hoping to become something big.
Hemingway asked his wife to join him in Switzerland for Christmas. She was sick at the time, and she packed her luggage the way you do when you’re sick: in a haze, forgetting useful things you need and throwing in extra stuff that you don’t. She knew how valuable her husband’s work was to him, and so she packed that, too. Every manuscript, every draft, all the handwritten notes for future novels, even the carbon copies, all went into one suitcase. One single suitcase.
At Gare du Lyon, a porter loaded her bags into her compartment. And then, just before the train left, Richardson—who was still under the weather, and had an eight-hour journey ahead of her—dashed quickly into the station to buy some water for the journey. When she returned, one suitcase, the suitcase containing every piece of fiction Hemingway had by that point produced, was gone.

Hemingway didn’t believe his tear-stained wife when she stepped off the train and told him the news. He left Richardson in Lausanne and took the train back to Paris to see for himself.

Charles Bukowski



Call for Submissions for an evening of ten-minute plays at Buffalo State College. The program will run two nights during the Spring 2019 semester.
The play must have characters in 18-25 range, no exceptions. If needed, you may include ONE (1) character not in that age range, but we are looking for plays that will resonate with the diverse young actors playing the roles, as well as the diverse college students in the audience; changing the ages on a generic play probably isn't going to work.

Cone Man Running Productions is announcing a nationwide call for the third iteration of our series ‘Five Minute Mile – Theatre on the Run.’ The series will perform in at Studio 101 in Houston, Texas.
We will be again staging this one-of-a-kind theatre festival. Each evening, twenty (20) plays will be performed off book by a core ensemble of actors. Eight (8) of those plays will be set for each evening, six (6) will be drawn at random by audience members and the last six (6) will be voted on by the audience (based on title, the blurb you provide, and word of mouth). Every night will be a different experience! 

Established in 2016, the SETC/Stage Rights Ready to Publish Award is a program dedicated to developing, publishing, and licensing new works by members of the SETC community.
The awards process is open to all and the requirements for submission are: one completed full-length play (no musicals, short plays, or short play compilations) that is either unproduced, has had a produced staged reading, or a world premiere production...

*** For more information about these and other opportunities see the web site at http://www.nycplaywrights.org ***


Suffrage drama (also known as Suffrage Plays or Suffrage theatre) is a form of dramatic literature that emerged during the British women’s suffrage movement in the early twentieth century. Suffrage performances lasted approximately from 1907-1914.[1] Many suffrage plays called for a predominant or all female cast. Suffrage plays served to reveal issues behind the suffrage movement. These plays also revealed many of the double standards that women faced on a daily basis. Suffrage theatre was a form of realist theatre, which was influenced by the plays of Henrik Ibsen.[2] Suffrage theatre combined familiar everyday situations with relatable characters on the stage in the style of realist theatre.



The Vote is a 2015 British play written by James Graham. The play received its world premiere at the Donmar Warehouse as part of their spring 2015 season, where it ran from 24 April to 7 May 2015. Directed by Josie Rourke and set in a fictitious London polling station on election night 2015, the play was broadcast live on UK television channel More4 on the night of the election.



Aaron Landsman figured it would be boring. After all, he was being dragged to a city council meeting.

But something unexpected happened at the session that night in Portland, Ore. A man dumped a pile of needles and vials onto a table, offering a quick illustration of how dangerous a park near his home was. He wanted it cleaned up.

That gesture gave Landsman an idea. After attending hearings in several cities, he stitched together the most dramatic moments into a play called “City Council Meeting” that has played in cities such as New York, San Francisco and Keene, N.H. “In the most dry, banal meeting,” he says, “there’d be a moment that was theatrical and moving.”



If doors that opened for the nation’s most prominent civil rights leader had similarly opened for Fannie Lou Hamer, a former senator once said “we would have had a female Martin Luther King.”

Forty years after Ms. Hamer died, Golden Globe-winning actress and playwright Regina Taylor is making sure the voting rights activist won’t be forgotten. Commissioned to write the latest work in Carthage’s New Play Initiative, she wrote “A Seat at the Table” based on Ms. Hamer’s life.

A plantation worker for much of her life, Ms. Hamer lost her job when she tried to register to vote. She later received a severe beating after being jailed on a trumped-up charge in 1963. Still, the Mississippi woman went on to give televised testimony at the 1964 Democratic National Convention.



"The Agitators" at Park Square Theatre

When planning their 2018-2019 season, Park Square Theatre couldn't have known how timely and relevant The Agitators would be. But then again, the lives and work of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass will never not be relevant and urgent until their dream of an America that is equal and just for all is realized. And we have not yet reached that day. That's why football players take the knee during the National Anthem, and why women take to the streets in pink hats. It's the legacy of these two self-described (at least in the words of the play) agitators, people who stir things up and get people talking, because that's where change begins. Their legacy is also our right to vote, which these two (among many) fought so hard to secure for all Americans. With what feels like the most important mid-term election in history approaching, it's a perfect time for this play to remind us just why the vote is so important that these two agitators devoted their entire lives to it. Playwrights' Center core writer Mat Smart's smart (pardon the pun), funny, engaging, and inspiring play couldn't come at a better time.



THE ELECTION by Don Zolidis

After an embattled student body president resigns in disgrace, Mark Davenport figures he will cruise to victory in the special election. After all, his only opponent is nerdy Christy Martin, who wants to eliminate football. But when a mysterious Super PAC gives her an unlimited budget, things start to get very ugly. Mark must face total annihilation or accept the services of a slick professional campaign manager with questionable ethics and a million-dollar Super PAC of his own. A hilarious and timely satire on the contemporary political scene.


Could A Play Stop A Demagogue? Theatre and Electoral Politics

The US presidential candidate in IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE, the prescient 1936 play by Sinclair Lewis, doesn’t childishly insult his rivals nor boast about the size of his penis. He doesn’t deride Mexicans as rapists and women as fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals. He doesn’t call for a ban on all Muslims, or explicitly advocate the use of torture and the murder of terrorists’ families. 


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How Do You Move A Bookstore? With A Human Chain, Book By Book


People pass books down a chain to help the bookstore October Books move to a new location on Sunday in Southampton, England.
October Books
When October Books, a small radical bookshop in Southampton, England, was moving to a new location down the street, it faced a problem. How could it move its entire stock to the new spot, without spending a lot of money or closing down for long?
The shop came up with a clever solution: They put out a call for volunteers to act as a human conveyor belt.
As they prepared to "lift and shift" on Sunday, they expected perhaps 100 people to help.
"But on the day, we had over 200 people turn out, which was a sight to behold," Amy Brown, one of the shop's five part-time staff members, told NPR.
Shoulder to shoulder, community members formed a line 500 feet long: from the stockroom of the old shop, down the sidewalk, and onto the shop floor of the new store.
Cafes brought cups of tea to the volunteers. People at bus stops joined in. Passersby asked what was happening, then joined the chain themselves.
"We had elderly people, children, and everybody in between," Brown said.
When the great bookchain began, she was in the stockroom. "I was handing books to people without actually seeing the entire of it. So it was only after about 20 minutes I actually go out into the road and saw the extent of the people," she said.
October Books, founded in 1977, calls itself "more than a bookshop." It sells political and current affairs books, fiction and children's books, and and some food and fair-trade products.
But as it struggled to pay rising rents, it had launched a campaign over the summer to raise $400,000 to buy a space of its own: an old bank building. And raise it they did, through donations, crowdfunding, and people who donated money as "loanstock" — the shop will repay them the money that they've lent after one, five, or 10 years depending the loan terms.
"There's been people who've been visiting us and buying books from us for 40 years" as the store has moved around the city numerous times, Brown said. "So a lot of people feel quite invested in it as a thing."
 And in just one hour on Sunday, the community passed more than 2,000 books, hand to hand, to the new shop.
"It was really sort of surprising and positive, and just a really moving experience to see people chipping in because they wanted to help. And they wanted to be part of something bigger," Brown said.
Meanwhile, the bookshop's new location is being painted and built out. And Brown says she currently is surrounded by boxes and bits of broken-up furniture.

There's a lot to get ready for the shop's next chapter. The new, permanent location of October Books has its grand opening on Saturday.

Antarctica scientist stabbed colleague for spoiling book endings

By Natalie O'Neill

In the first attempted murder ever on the frozen continent of Antarctica, a Russian scientist reportedly snapped and allegedly tried to stab a colleague to death because the victim kept giving away the endings of books.
Sergey Savitsky had been trying to use literature to pass the lonesome months at Bellingshausen Station on King George Island, but his colleague Oleg Beloguzov was making it impossible to enjoy his hobby.
“[He] kept telling [him] the endings of books before he read them,” The Sun reported, citing an unnamed source.
So on Oct. 9, the 55-year-old Savitsky finally had enough and allegedly plunged a kitchen knife into the chest of his 52-year-old tormenter. Part of Beloguzov’s heart was wounded, Russian authorities said.
Beloguzov, a welder, was flown to the nearest hospital, in Chile, where he is expected to survive.
The men previously had spent four frigid years working together at the facility. Officials said that while the reading dispute was the final straw, the close confinement in the camp on remote Antarctica played a role in fueling the attack.
“They are both professional scientists who have been working in our expeditions, spending year-long seasons at the station,” deputy director of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute Alexander Klepikov told the Russian news outlet Komsomolskaya Pravda.
“It is down to investigators to figure out what sparked the conflict, but both men are members of our team,” he said.
Savitsky was deported to St. Petersburg, Russia, and charged with attempted murder on Oct. 22, according to Pravda.
Savitsky admitted to the stabbing but claimed he didn’t mean to kill him, the Russian news outlet Nevskie Novosti reported, citing law-enforcement sources.
The station, which was set up by the Soviets in 1968, is located in one of Antarctica’s few mild regions — where winter temperatures hover around a balmy 15 degrees.
Workers can spend time flipping between two Russian TV channels, exercising at a gym — or reading in the research library.

Being an artist

Hold em

You have to hold your audience in writing to the very end -- 
much more than in talking, when people have to be polite and listen to you. 
Brenda Ueland, writer 

The state of printed books


Sat 10/20/2018, 5:15 PM
Greetings NYCPlaywrights


We’re on iTunes now!

Our next episode #4 will be posted by this Monday, October 22.

The selection for the next episode a 10-minute play by Michael Jalbert called LOVERBOY.

More information about the podcast here: http://www.playwrightspodcast.com.


NYCPlaywrights is offering a voucher good for a pair of tickets to see KENNEDY: BOBBY’S LAST CRUSADE. These tickets will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis so if you want them, email us right away at info@nycplaywrights.org

Kennedy: Bobby’s Last Crusade follows Robert F. Kennedy during the fateful 1968 presidential campaign, from his announcement of his intention to enter the race in March, to his last speech on June 4th at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. This New American Play contains many of his most famous and impactful speeches as well as the private and more personal moments of those four tumultuous months of the campaign.

If you are too late for the voucher you can still get discount tickets - see the NYCPlaywrights web site for more information.


Theater of Light Inc presents the fourth bi-annual production of Lights Up/Fade to Black. Join us for a FREE hour of rejuvenating and light hearted theater made of three short new plays.
Play I: A conversation could be a flirtation, she is charming but there is something alarming, what she is planning for today?
Play II: It is true, love is for forever but this guy is in a deep haze, figuring out just which who is who; two wives what is he going to do?
Play III: She comes to see the doctor about all her crazy quirks, he has quite a diagnosis, will she need hypnosis?

Located in the theater underneath the Blessed Sacrament on 152 W 71st NY, NY. Just a few steps away from the 1/2/3 72nd St Train. It's completely FREE!
Performances will be held on Saturdays October 20/27 & Novemeber 3 @7pm and Sundays October 21/28 & November 4 @3:30pm


Moonbox Productions, in Boston, is accepting submissions for one-act plays, to be produced in February as part of our Emerging Artists Program, in Boston’s BCA Plaza Black Box Theatre. Plays should be written by playwrights living with disability and/or explore disability-related themes.


M. T. Pockets Theatre One-Act Play Contest 2018
Each entry must:
1. Be unpublished, with 3 or less productions (excluding readings, self-productions
     and/or contest productions).
2. Require two to four (2 to 4) characters.
3. Be no more than 10 minutes in running time.
4. Require minimal props and costumes excluding the title and cast pages.
5. Be no more than ten (10) pages long.

Amas Musical Theatre's The Eric H. Weinberger Award for Emerging Librettists is a juried cash and production grant to be given annually to support the early work and career of a deserving musical theatre librettist. It commemorates the life and work of playwright/librettist Eric H. Weinberger (1950-2017), who was a Drama Desk Award nominee for Best Book of a Musical (Wanda’s World,) and the playwright/librettist of Class Mothers ’68, which earned Pricilla Lopez a Drama Desk Award nomination. 
The winner will receive $2,000 to help pay cost-of-living expenses and will receive development assistance in our 2019 New Works Development Program.

*** For more information about these and other opportunities see the web site at http://www.nycplaywrights.org ***


According to a survey conducted by Nielsen Scarborough in spring 2016, over 47 million Americans had attended a live theatre event within the past month and around 18.1 million people had visited a symphony concert or an opera performance.

The Broadway theatre district in Manhattan, New York City is central to the theatre industry in the U.S. Within this area operate 40 theatres, each with more than 500 seats. During the 2015/16 theatre season, the revenue of Broadway shows in New York reached approximately 1.37 billion U.S. dollars. The majority of this revenue was generated through musical performances (1.17 billion U.S. dollars). Plays and musicals on Broadway were attended by more than 13 million people in 2015/16 and, on average, show tickets cost a total of 103.11 U.S. dollars.



THE COUNT: An Ongoing Study By The Lilly Awards In Partnership With The Dramatists Guild

Written by: Marsha Norman

Analyzing three years of data from productions in regional theaters in America, the study found that only 22% of these productions were written by women. The full Count study analyzes gender, race, nationality, genre and whether the productions were of new work or revivals.

The Count was funded by the Dramatists Guild and The Lilly Awards, and its results were originally announced at the DG Conference in La Jolla in July 2015. The full study and various responses to its data were subsequently published in the November/December 2015 issue of The Dramatist.

Our task from here on is to determine how best to change the way people make the choices that silence the voices of women. Sadly enough, this silencing is not limited to the theatre.

What we want is 50% of the airtime, 50% of the walls of the museum, 50% of the stage time in the theaters and on the movie screens. We want life in the arts to represent life as it is lived in the world.

We want to hear the whole human chorus, not just the tenors, basses and baritones.



This statistic shows the gross revenue of Broadway shows in New York from 2006 to 2018. During the 2017/18 season, musicals performed on Broadway generated over 1.44 billion U.S. dollars.

(interactive chart available - compare musicals, plays and specials)


Theatre and the West End in the United Kingdom (UK) - Statistics & Facts

The theatre industry in the United Kingdom is a fundamental part of the country's arts and culture sector. Over 19 million theatre tickets were sold across the UK in 2016, with London regarded as the biggest market. Gross box office revenues for London theatres reached roughly 645 million British pounds in 2016, earned primarily through West End theatre venues. 

London theatreland or the West End is the area of central London with the highest concentration of commercial theatres. Along with Broadway in New York, it is one of the most popular theatre districts for English speaking performances in the world. Musicals are the most popular form of theatre, recording the highest attendance figures for performances in London. In 2016, box office revenues from London musicals valued 401 million British pounds.



As the demographics of the Canadian population change, so are their habits for accessing live performances and other forms of entertainment. In this last article of the "Attendance Trends" series, we will look at preferred locations for live performance attendance.

The breadth of performing arts attendance among the population is worth celebrating. However, other attendance trends are a source of concerns.

According to the Arts and Heritage Access and Availability Survey, attendance of performances and arts events is as strong as ever. In 2016-2017, 87% Canadians attended at least one performance or arts event (including craft shows and visual arts exhibits). Overall attendance is also high (80%+) across all regions and most segments of the Canadian population. These are the highest attendance ratios ever registered by the Access and Availability Survey (previous iterations of this survey were conducted in 2012, 2007 and 2001).



“I need to say it loud and clear: Subscriptions are not dead.”

That’s Bernie Griffin, managing director of the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. Almost every managing leader interviewed for this article said something similar. But the story is far more complicated than Griffin might like: Average subscription income for the Trend Theatres was at its five-year highest point in 2016. But the increase in subscription income fell just 0.3 percent shy of inflation and was accompanied by an increase in the average subscription ticket price.

Further, while subscription income was the second greatest source of earned income in each of the five years, that income, over time, covered a smaller percentage of total expenses. Also, 2016 saw a five-year low in the number of subscribers, which was 8.1 percent below the 2012 level. (Subscription-related stats from Theatre Facts reflect both subscriptions and memberships.)

So, what are theatres doing to attract those coveted subscribers/members, who create dependable cash flow and guarantee audiences? EgoPo Classic Theater in Philadelphia gives each season a theme, said managing director Shayna Freed. As a result, she believes, “We do see a much higher subscriber base as compared to single ticket sales compared to other theatres of our size. Because we try to make it a journey-through-the-season kind of experience, we’re able to sell in a way that I think a lot of theatres are struggling with as they see subscription sales go down. The stability of having a growing subscriber base is really important to us, especially as a small theatre.”



Playbill quiz: From Annie’s Sandy to Into the Woods’ Milky White, are you up to speed about Broadway’s furry friends? Take our quiz to find out!



Unique and Interesting Facts about Shakespeare’s Globe Theater

◾ The first Globe was built by the company William Shakespeare worked for, called Lord Chamberlain's Men. The theatre was owned by shareholders who included actors working in the company. Richard Burbage was the company's leading actor.

◾ Although several of Shakespeare's plays were indeed performed at the Globe, they also featured in other theatres. Accordingly, other writers besides the Bard also wrote for the company, including Ben Jonson, Thomas Dekker, and John Fletcher.
◾ Southwark was chosen to be the site of the theatre after careful consideration. First and foremost, it was outside the limits which came under the control of the city officials, many of whom were not what we'd call pro-theatre.

◾ Southwark had an established reputation as an area where the general public went to be entertained. It already had two theatres, the Rose and the Swan, along with animal baiting arenas, taverns, and brothels.



Interesting trivia about the world of the theatre

We thought it was about time we offered some of our favourite curious facts about plays and drama, so what follows are twenty of the funniest or most fascinating nuggets from the theatre. So if you’ve taken your seat, we’ll dim the lights and raise the curtain on these interesting theatre facts.

In 1782, a lady named Mrs Fitzherbert died laughing at a performance of John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera at the theatre.

When Shakespeare’s Globe burned down in 1613, the one casualty was a man whose breeches caught fire; they were put out with a bottle of ale.

If you say ‘Macbeth’ in a theatre, you are meant to walk three times in a circle anti-clockwise, then either spit or say a rude word.

A precursor to the film Shakespeare in Love was an 1804 story by Alexandre Duval in which the Bard falls for an actress playing Richard III.

The first recorded instance of a woman playing Hamlet was Charlotte Charke (1713-1760).

What should the theatre be? The theatre should be full. – Giuseppe Verdi

The word ‘exsibilation’ refers to an audience’s practice of hissing a bad performer off the stage; it first appears in a work of 1640.

A ‘deuteragonist’ is the second actor or person in a drama, after the protagonist. It’s first recorded in 1855 in a book by G. H. Lewes.

The word ‘background’ originally denoted the part of the stage farthest from the audience; it first appears in a play by William Wycherley.

‘Scenario’ originally denoted the front of a classical theatre; it first appears in English in the diary of John Evelyn (1620-1706).

I love acting. It is so much more real than life. – Oscar Wilde



There’s no denying it: Actors are a superstitious bunch. Maybe it’s the (obvious) flare for the dramatic, the nightly thrill of live performance, or the awareness that careers can turn overnight. Regardless of the cause, here are nine fun (and serious) superstitions that thespians swear by. Did somebody just say “Macbeth?”

“Break a Leg”
Well-wishers should always replace the phrase “good luck” with its theatrical substitute “break a leg.” According to Steppenwolf Theatre Company, the saying has a variety of possible origins. It may come from the ancient Greek practice of stomping feet instead of applauding, the Elizabethan term for bowing (to break the leg), the Vaudevillian practice of keeping actors just barely offstage (to break the leg of the curtain was to enter the playing space, and thus, get paid), or from understudies (jokingly) wishing actors would “break a leg” so that their standbys could perform.

The Ghost Light
Actors are notoriously aware of the spirits among us; the ghost of Thespis (the first known actor in ancient Greece) is said to wreak havoc upon theaters all over the world. The ghost light tradition—leaving a single lit bulb upstage center when the theater is empty—is meant to ward off these mischievous specters. In a more practical sense, it allows the stage managers, crewmembers, and actors to find the light switch when entering a vacant theater so that they don’t break their necks while crossing the totally dark stage.

Don’t Say “Macbeth!”
This has long been part of the actor’s folklore, and there are dozens of theories about when, where, and why performers started avoiding the play’s title—instead referring to the drama as “The Scottish Play.” The History Channel cites several instances of mysterious and sudden deaths during performances of “Macbeth,” suggesting a curse that dates back to the 17th century. Some believe that the play’s fictional incantations—“Double, double toil and trouble…” etc.,—are authentic examples of witchcraft, and therein lies the danger of speaking the title out loud. If an actor slips up and says the deadly phrase, there is an antidote: Exit the theater, spin three times, spit, and utter a Shakespearean insult (or an equally vulgar profanity).

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