Putting food on the table and litter in the cat box

I’m never going to earn my living from my playwriting.

There. I’ve accepted what more and more playwrights are saying. Royalties and commissions will never earn me a living wage.

I heard playwrights at the Dramatists Guild conference say that this should change. That theaters should pay playwrights better. That theaters should give playwrights a home. After all, we write what they produce. Playwrights who are part of acting companies do great work.

Molly Smith, the Artistic Director of Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., gave a keynote talk about Arena Stage’s new program to hire playwrights and pay them a salary, give them health benefits, and provide them the resources they need to work. All this without telling them what to write or how to work.

I think this is fabulous. Arena Stage is doing something wonderful for playwrights. Five playwrights will be on staff for three years each.

But I got to thinking. Suppose every theater in the United States could do that. Would there be enough jobs so we could all earn a living wage for the rest of our working lives?

I don’t think so.

So, while I hope that “Lessons from Moonshine” will have many wonderful productions, and earn me lots of royalties, and lead to many commissions, I know that I need to find something to do in addition to writing plays.



About playwrightsmuse

Get produced, get published, let your brilliance shine! Follow along as we go through a step-by-step process for getting plays produced with the least amount of heartbreak and wasted postage and printing costs.
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