The other day, I was looking at the spreadsheet in which I track submission opportunities. There’s an opportunity for this play that I forgot all about!
Months ago, I saw an announcement that City Theatre in Pittsburgh accepts queries from unrepresented playwrights. Knowing that Pittsburgh has a high population of Catholics, I decided to submit “Lessons from Moonshine” to them.
But now I’m partway through this campaign, I realize I should take a closer look before sending.
Researching City Theatre, Pittsburgh
They have a page about script submissions. This includes their mission statement, the number of theaters they have (two), the number of plays they produce per season (six, plus the new play festival), and the configuration and seating capacity of their theaters.
Plus which, they have a production history on their site!
I love it when theaters make it easy for me to figure out whether my play is right for them.
Their mission statement
Their mission statement: “We are particularly interested in new, theatrical plays of substance and ideas that engage the intellect as well as the emotions; a fresh use of language or form; compelling stories; and plays by under-represented voices (e.g., women, writers of color, writers with disabilities).”
Does my play fit?
Theatrical plays – I think my play is theatrical, especially in how it switches between present and past by having actors playing the nuns switch instantly to different characters in a past event, and then back into the present.
Substance and ideas – post-reading discussions have always been thoughtful and lively.
Engage the intellect as well as the emotions – see above.
Fresh use of language or form – I’m not sure about this.
Compelling stories – audiences at readings have found the story compelling.
By underrepresented voices – I’m a woman!
2010 – 2011: The Amish Project, Louder Faster, The 39 Steps, The Morini Strad, Sister’s Christmas Catechism, Marcus or The Secret of Sweet, Precious Little.
2009 – 2010: Late Nite Catechism 3, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Blackbird, A Kodachrome Christmas, The Clockmaker, When January Feels Like Summer, Shooting Star, The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead.
Not only do they have summaries for each of these plays, they also list the cast!
So far, so good.
What they want
They want a query. The query should include:
- a letter naming a professional reference (with contact information)
- a resume
- a synopsis of the play
- a character breakdown
- a 10-page dialogue sample
- audio for musicals (not applicable to my play)
- the development and production history of the play
Looks like I have everything they want, so I should just review it and send the query!