As a solo musical theatre writer - or as I like to refer to myself, a triple-threat musical theatre writer, I often feel like I am behind other writers. But I'm not able to spend 6-8 weeks at a BMI Musical Writing course, nor do I have the resources to move to New York and live as a starving artist until I make it big...
So what can I do?
Fortunately, technology has created hundreds of new tools that can help writers that aren't able to submerge themselves in the industry get their work seen... and today I want to talk about the New Play Exchange.
If you're a playwright or a theatre writer, getting your work seen and read by the right people can be a challenge. However, the New Play Exchange (NPX) offers a unique platform for writers to showcase their work and connect with theatre professionals who are looking for new plays.
Founded in 2015, the New Play Exchange is an online community for theatre artists to share and discover new works. The website features a database of over 35,000 plays, as well as a variety of tools and resources for writers and theatre professionals.
Here are just a few ways that the New Play Exchange can help theatre writers get their work seen:
Showcase your work to a wide audience: The New Play Exchange allows writers to upload their plays to a searchable database that can be accessed by theatre professionals all over the world. This gives writers the opportunity to reach a larger audience and get their work seen by people who might not have discovered it otherwise.
Connect with theatre professionals: The New Play Exchange is also a networking platform for writers, directors, producers, and other theatre professionals. Writers can use the platform to connect with potential collaborators, find opportunities to submit their work, and get feedback on their plays.
Get discovered: The New Play Exchange has become a popular resource for theatre professionals who are looking for new plays to produce. Many playwrights have had their plays discovered on the site and gone on to have successful productions.
Find resources and support: In addition to its database of plays, the New Play Exchange offers a variety of resources for writers, including articles, videos, and podcasts on topics related to playwriting and theatre. The site also features a community forum where writers can ask questions and get advice from other theatre professionals.
Like all online services, there are a couple shortfalls. For example, if you utilize the system for feedback and to find readers for your work, you also have to contribute to the platform by reading other people's works. And unfortunately there are a lot of contributors that never read other works, so you have to try to promote your work to get it read. There are a lot of good scripts on the platform, but there are also a lot of not so great scripts. While it will take time to get your works read, it will require some of your own time doing the same for others.
And one last note about the New Play Exchange. It is now so large that it doesn't provide the opportunity that it once did because of the sheer number of scripts. However, this shouldn't be a big issue with a well-written script, those always find a way of getting seen, but I wouldn't recommend using the New Play Exchange for all of your heavy lifting.
Overall, the New Play Exchange is a valuable resource for theatre writers who are looking to get their work seen, connect with others in the industry and solicit productions of your work. If you're a playwright or a theatre writer, creating a profile on the New Play Exchange and uploading your work can be a great way to get started on your journey towards success in the theatre world.
Alan Saunders, WRITEineer.com
Friends told me I was late to the game for writing musicals, even though I've been writing them almost my entire life. so this blog is my journey into writing professionally for the stage.
Check out WRITEineer.com for how-to articles and resources for writing your own musical for the stage!