I dream to be a playwright one day… which is probably the most stressful dream I have ever had. While I hide in the safety of BU’s College of Fine Arts typing away I am continuously nagged at by one fact. Soon enough I will have to start submitting my works if I ever want it to go somewhere beyond my own laptop. Not only that, but there is a very good chance that once I toss my work out into the Aether I will just be sitting around waiting for a long…. long…. looooong time before I hear anything, and even then, it may never see the light of day.
Queue my brain exploding in frustration
Or the more accurate visual
Or a least this was how I was feeling until until I heard about a group of playwrights that have been working together for 8 years making sure their work can be produced. Thank you to the little birdie that shared this news with me… *cough cough* HowlRound…
The Workhaus Collective have been working over the past 8 years and have put up 16 of their own works in that time. Not only that, but they have created a ground where the playwrights have a direct line to the audiences with which their works are being performed for. Not only that but the playwrights are producing their own works so they get to see it all the way through its artistic journey. This allows playwrights to take their works into their own hands in a way that gives me some hope for my future as a playwright
But slowdown… Does this mean I plan on flying to Minnesota with the dream of joining a collective? Oh god no. I am far to afraid of flying and would rather road trip it. But in all honestly the hope I have comes from the model used by the Workhaus Collective. This collective believes in “sweat equity” or the idea that the people that put in the effort and hours deserve to see their works produced. Their is also not a full time demand to be part of the group. In fact, everyone works outside of the collective but make additional sacrifices so that the collective can exist.
So why should this matter to people in the world? I believe that the hardest part about being a new playwright or even an established playwright trying to have their pieces produced is finding a venue that wants what we have written. I know I am terrified to have to deal with this reality and Workhaus has reminded me that if I want to see my pieces performed I can make it happen. All I need to do is find a group of like minded people that want to make some art and bring it to the people. They have reminded me that hard work and sweat does get rewarded at the end of the day. Most importantly they have inspired me to not be afraid of doing what I love, because even though there is sacrifice involved, I do it because I love it
So for those who are putting up the good fight so the new plays they are passionate about can see the light of day; a round of applause
Thank you for showing the world the power of the playwright and giving this young playwright the hope that, with the right friends and the right effort, my handwork too will see the light of day