Getting my play produced #31: calling the distilleries

I’m doing something that scares me

I admit it, I’m nervous about calling the distilleries to see if they’re interested in my play-reading tour.  I guess because I’ve never done this sort of thing before.

Yesterday, I prepared to make the first call, then stalled for 10 minutes, reading articles on the New York Times site.  Then I reminded myself that it wouldn’t get any easier if I put it off, and getting used to it would make it easier.

I wrote out a short script for myself — oh! oh! a playwright writing a “script!!”  I slay myself.

Anyhow… I prepared some notes on what I would say, then made my first call.

Glen Mac Donald, of Mac Donald Distillery, was very nice. He said he wouldn’t be able to be in the tour, but he answered my questions about why. I learned a lot that will help me figure out how I can make this tour succeed, if distilleries ultimately can’t do it.

Barriers to my tour

Washington State has many laws that govern alcohol, both distilling and selling.  The federal government also has laws.  Here are some barriers they put up to my tour:

  • The public can be in tasting room, but not in the distillery area itself, unless they are there for a “purpose.” Coming to a play reading might not count as a purpose.
  • While distilleries can sell two bottles to one person, they can’t sell during events.
  • A non-profit entity must sell mixed drinks, or was it all drinks? Anything that’s poured, sold, and drunk at the distillery, can’t be sold by the distillery itself.

So distilleries will have a hard time making any money at an event. Only way would be to sell tickets.

But the point, for the distilleries, is to introduce people to their products and the work they’re passionate about.  And to make money.  How can they do that if they can’t sell their products?

Also, tasting rooms might be too small to hold enough people to sell enough tickets, anyway.

Other possibilities…

Glen Mac Donald said that wineries and breweries have fewer laws governing what they do.  Which explains why a winery here in Seattle, the E. B. Foote Winery, was able to have play productions for so many years (the winery closed in August 2011, but not because of the play productions :)).

Maybe wineries would be a better venue for my tour. Especially wineries that distill their wines into brandy, for example.

But before I move on to other possibilities…

… two distilleries have said they are interested!  I’ve been emailing with them.

And I’ll call the others I sent letters to.


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.
This entry was posted in Getting my play produced -- "Lessons from Moonshine", The Distillery Tour -- "Lessons from Moonshine". Bookmark the permalink.

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