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What is a playwrights' collective?

The basic theory is that by working together to produce the new works of members, playwrights learn more about dramatic writing, production, and the business aspects of theater. 

Each season, select member plays are workshopped, read, produced, and published. How collectives select these works and devise a schedule varies. While another playwright's work is being developed or produced, you lend whatever skills and knowledge you can to that effort. When your work is staged, you act as the artistic director and rely on the talents of other members to bring that vision to a fully staged production.

Selling tickets to shows and subscriptions to the seasons when you only present new works is not easy. People like familiar or already-famous shows, unfortunately. Collectives, therefore, know that they have to educate and recruit audiences. 

Collectives also rely on their role as educators in the community to build support for their shows and other projects. Readings, seminars, and some (limited) workshops are open to non-members to reveal how theatrical productions are created. Many collective have interns significantly engaged in the development of works. 

Collectives do not simply accept funding from playwrights interested in self-production. Members must be involved in the development process of their woks and those of other members. This is a collaborative learning experience, meant to help writers, even mid-career writers, become better playwrights. 

If you wish to write checks and get a show produced, a collective is not the right option for you. But, if you have the time, energy, and a willingness to educate new audiences, then a collective can be exciting and rewarding. 
 
And, not every member of a collective has to want a production. Many collectives include members interested in learning and helping, but not seeking a full production. Though every produced work must go through the development process within the collective, not every work has to conclude with a production. 

#collective #playwrights   #bylaws   #proposal  

Reminder: We'd like your comments and suggestions before the end of October for what you'd like to see in the bylaws and business proposal. The collective can't be "everything" -- and also consider what the existing organizations offer and we can differentiate the collective and network within the community as it is. We want to build bridges, not duplicate efforts. 

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Matt and I started a timeline for the collective concept. Some goals include: (1) Sharing what works we'd each like to develop during August and September meetings; (2) Having a "first Board" in place by October; (3) Approving the bylaws and business plan before 2015. 

The Board should handle the business things, letting most of the members focus on developing new works. The bylaws explain most of what the Board has to do. 

Having two or three full-length productions, and a short-works event, in 2016 is an ambitious goal. I know we can achieve it, though. 

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This is the rough, very rough, start of a budget outline. I'm compiling nearly a dozen budget examples into a single spreadsheet workbook. I'll be breaking out details later. But, I wanted to demonstrate why $25,000 a year is a conservative estimate for this project. Other collectives have much greater budgets and my estimate is likely to increase as I learn more over the next year. 

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Our draft #bylaws  are based on an AACT/TCG model (number 7, for the curious) and have been posted for your review. 

About two-thirds done with the draft bylaws. I should have them publicly available by Wednesday, July 2, for people to review and consider. #bylaws   #organization  

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This link takes you to the shared Google Drive folder for this group and our plans. The link is "view only" but makes all plans public for those interested. #bylaws   #proposal #playwrights  

We don't yet have a name or anything… but this community is for the proposed playwrights' collective in Pittsburgh, PA. We welcome everyone to learn more about our efforts. 

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Draft slide show presentation on the collective concept. 

Connect! Share ideas, opportunities, celebrations of progress, and anything else that comes to mind. 
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