To those who have ever engaged with me on the topic of the accessibility of theatre vs. film, I will tell you that I do not think it is film we have to worry about, but the growing trend of podcasts. Podcasts allow for listeners (for free or for a very low cost or donation) to listen to long-form stories whenever and wherever they’d like. Now, a new podcast about the life of a playwright has come about headlined by playwright Simon Stephens.
You can read about this podcast here.
What initially made me skeptical was a thought I’ve been struggling with as a young playwright: would you still read my stories the same way if you did not know my identity? What I admire so much about Annie Baker and Caryl Churchill is just that. They rarely, if ever, interview, letting their plays speak for themselves.
What is different about this podcast is that it is a lot about playwrights answering the questions many young playwrights like myself are beginning to ask: what’s it like to have a play flop in a major theatre, where do you like to write, what do you think of actors who flub your lines? Playwrights asking playwrights playwriterly questions. There’s a simple genius in that.
Rather than pose this as a celebrity sort of journalism, which I’ve read from playwrights in Vogue or the New York Times, this podcast has a more James Lipton vibe, coming across as a more introspective resource rather than externally driven page-turner.
For young playwrights looking for some support during our long holiday break- Playwrights Podcast debuted December 9th and new episodes are released every Friday for the next 12 weeks.