Tis the season for new play commissions in our midst. We’ve launched 5 of them with Locally Grown, and we’re soon to be ushering in a 6th with the world premiere comedy, ELECTILE DYSFUNCTION, THE KINSEY SICKS FOR PRESIDENT which begins performances, believe it or not, next Saturday, February 4th, only a few days after the world premiere production of Renee Calarco’s THE RELIGION THING comes to a close (Sunday, after the 7:30 show). Last night, students from UM, UC, and ND (that’s the Fighting Irish) saw another world premiere new play commission, this time at Ford’s Theatre for Richard Hellesen’s NECESSARY SACRIFICES.
The question we’re going to ask of our commissioned playwrights, our new play development staff — both at Theater J and perhaps elsewhere in the city, and the country as well, is “why commission?” What’s perilous about it for a theater? What’s wonderful about it for a theater?
How’s it an albatross of pressure and over-direction for a playwright? And why’s it wonderful for a playwright?
How does a commission work? And in those rare cases, how does a commission NOT work!?
We’ll do a shout-out for responses and post herein and below in the comments. Respond away!