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Dramatists Guild National Conference

2015 NATIONAL CONFERENCE

In 2013, our conference, Having Our Say: Our History Our Future was a major success.

Theresa Rebeck wowed us with her fiery keynote event, Lin-Manuel Miranda schooled us on exciting new forms of musical theatre, and Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman discussed their journey down the yellow brick road.

The Dramatists Guild's 2015 national conference, Writing the Changing World, promises to be a happening unlike any other. Bringing together more artists from film, television, and social platforms, we’re offering panels and workshops on storytelling for the future. Attendees will be exploring creative outlets in an ever-growing theatre community, have access to entrepreneurial marketing strategies for all creatives, and continue to map out challenging artistic paths.

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CURRENT SPONSORS FOR THE 2015 NATIONAL CONFERENCE

A huge thank you to our current sponsors of Writing the Changing World!

BMI supports its songwriters, composers and publishers by taking care of an important aspect of their careers – getting paid. BMI supports businesses and organizations that play music publicly by offering blanket music licenses that permit them to play more than 8.5 million musical works. Both relationships save each time and money.

The Dramatists Guild Fund has been a resource to dramatists and non-profit theaters for over fifty years, providing aid and offering educational programs to countless individuals.

Goddard’s Library and Information Technology Services are designed to provide information resources and technology support for students and the broader college community. We provide access to quality information resources and services. We recognize that the use of technology is an integral part of library and information research. It is our collective mission to provide authoritative information resources, learner-centered services and instruction as well as reliable systems that support academic research & enhance intellectual activity.

 

Since 1982, Write Brothers® Inc. (formerly called Screenplay Systems™) has been the world leader in film and television production software. Our software is sold worldwide and has been used in the development of most of your favorite films and television shows. 


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EARLY BIRD DEADLINE SET TO EXPIRE TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT!

Here’s your last chance to get that conference deal! The Early Bird deadline ($325 for the conference fee; $395 after) expires tonight at midnight. Why pay more when you don’t have to?

Here are four sessions that we thought might be fun for you to know about:

Agents, Publishing and Productions - Peter Hagan, Gary Garrison

Long time theatrical agent Peter Hagan became the President of Dramatists Play Service in January of 2014. What better person to have a discussion with about agents, publishing and productions than Mr. Hagan? Join Gary Garrison, DG Executive Director of Creative Affairs for this lively discussion on Friday, July 17th at 5:00 as part of the conference programming. Earlier that day (at 1:00) Hagan will sit with Ralph Sevush, Executive Director of Business Affairs, and Council members Julia Jordan, Charlayne Woodard and Doug Wright to discuss Dramatists Play Service’s pivotal role in both the theatre industry as well as in the history of the Dramatists Guild.

Beyond the Fourth Wall: Immersive Theatre - Gab Cody, Hortense Gerardo

Join Pittsburgh Regional Rep Gaby Cody, and New England Regional Rep Hortense Gerardo, on taking theatre into the streets in non-traditional settings. This workshop will be combined with a walking tour, focusing on the Without Walls Festival, with Marike Fitzgerald of La Jolla Playhouse.

On-line Media/Blogging as Political Activism - Howard Sherman, Mike Lew

Howard Sherman, one of our country’s most prolific on-line advocates for playwrights  (particularly around issues of censorship, among many other things) and Mike Lew, dramatist and newly elected Council member, will discuss the power any artist can wield with a strong on-line media presence.

Dramatists Guild Conflicts and Their Resolutions - Ralph Sevush, Stephen Schwartz John Weidman, Doug Wright

Ralph Sevush will sit with two former Dramatists Guild Presidents (John Weidman and Stephen Schwartz) and newly elected President Doug Wright, to discuss some of the more key, important strategic issues that the Guild has had to address historically and  particularly over the last 15 years that these three Presidents represent - issues that have had a profound impact on your careers as dramatists.

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SATURDAY CONFERENCE PROGRAMMING ANNOUNCED; HOTEL ROOMS SELLING OUT!

Last week we gave you an idea of the Thursday and Friday programming for the conference, and today we add Saturday (the fullest day of the conference).

We also wanted to give you a heads up that hotel rooms in the conference hotel (The La Jolla Hilton Torrey Pines) have sold much faster than anyone anticipated. If you've planned to stay at the conference hotel (our recommendation), you might want to book sooner than later. Wednesday nights are not available, however.

And as announced last week, because we know so many of you would like to see more of the programming in place before you actually commit to the expense involved in the conference, we're extending the deadline while we finalize the programming. The Early Bird deadline ($325 for the conference fee; $395 after) has been extended from May 1 to May 15. But here is a rough outline of the workshops and panels being designed for our three days together.

Thursday, July 16:

A Conversation with John Logan (Red, I'll Eat You Last)
All Conference Reception
Building Community: How to Get Produced in Your Own City
Member Regional Meet and Greets
One-on-One Sessions with Business Affairs
RX for the Creative
The Songwriter/Bookwriter Exchange
Using the Senses: Character and Story Creation
Writing From History: Finding Your Niche (and Passion)

Friday, July 17:

Adapting Fact and Fiction For the Stage
Agents, Publishing and Production
Audio/Radio Drama Writing
Beyond the Fourth Wall: Immersive Theatre
Copyright: Can I Do That? Dramatists Guild Conflicts and Their Resolutions
Marsha Norman: A Keynote Speech
Mock Business Negotiations
Multidimensional Theatre: Shifting Texts
One-on-One Sessions with Business Affairs
Playwrights and the New Play Exchange
Playwrights Creating for the Web
Playwriting and Parenting
Presentation of The Count
Self-Production: Drop-In Session
Software for Dramatists: An Easy Tool for Writing
Synopsis Writing
The 11 O'clock Number
The Artist As CEO
The Dramatists Guild Fund Is Here to Help You
The Global Impact of Diversity on Our Stages
The Making of a Juke Box Musical
The Playwright Performer
What Everyone Should Know about Dramatists Play Service
Writing a Book Musical
Writing Wrongs

Saturday, July 18:

A Conversation with Linda Bloodworth-Thomason (First Wives Club - The Muscial; Designing Women)
A Director's Approach to New Plays
A Practical Guide to Self-Publishing
An All-Star Cabaret
Blogging as Political Activism
Censorship
Comedy Across Mediums
Creating Character in Story and Song
Creating Unforgettable Villains
DG in Conversation with SDC
Federal Taxation and the Dramatists
How a Play Starts; How and Why It Stops
How to Submit Your Plays (So Your Work is Produced)
Internet Piracy and Its Effects on the Dramatists
La Jolla Playhouse: The Discovery
Musical Theatre Adaptation
One-on-One Sessions with Business Affairs
Playwrights Collectives
Practical Marketing Tools for Every Dramatist
Reshaping The Color Purple
The Cultural Fingerprint in Television
The Intersection of Art and Politics
Turning the Political Into the Theatrical
Vector Theory as Plot Structure
Women Writing Women
Writing for Theme Parks (TYA)
Writing Musical Theatre Outside NYC


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CONFERENCE PROGRAMMING & EARLY BIRD EXTENDED!

Because we know so many of you would like to see more of the programming in place before you actually commit to the expense involved in the conference, we’re extending the deadline while we finalize the programming. The Early Bird deadline ($325 for the conference fee; $395 after) has been extended from May 1 to May 15. But as a hint of what we have in place, here is a sampling of some of the workshops and panels being designed for just the first two days:

Thursday, July 16 (the day begins at 3:00 pm):

The Songwriter/Bookwriter Exchange
RX for the Creative
Building Community: How to Get Produced in Your Own City
Writing From History: Finding Your Niche (and Passion)
Using the Senses: Character and Story Creation
One-on-One Sessions with Business Affairs
A Conversation with John Logan (Red, I’ll Eat You Last)
All Conference Reception
Member Regional Meet and Greets

Friday, July 17 (the day begins at 9:00 am):

Writing Wrongs
Beyond the Fourth Wall: Immersive Theatre
Audio/Radio Drama Writing
Multidimensional Theatre: Shifting Texts
The Artist As CEO
The Making of a Juke Box Musical
Playwrights Creating for the Web
Writing a Book Musical
Copyright: Can I Do That?
Dramatists Guild Conflicts and Their Resolutions
Playwriting and Parenting
Playwrights and the New Play Exchange
Agents, Publishing and Production
The 11 O’Clock Number
The Playwright-Performer
The Global Impact of Diversity on Our Stages
Synopsis Writing
Self-Production: Drop-In Session
One-on-One Sessions with Business Affairs
Marsha Norman: A Keynote Speech
Presentation of The Count


#writechange

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EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION ENDS SOON!

With only a week to go before the Early Bird registration closes (a savings of $65 dollars if you register now), we wanted to share with you that, like in Chicago, we'll be offering popular sessions for playwrights and musical theatre writers, plus provide a forum for you all to ask your business questions.

One-on-One with Business Affairs. Conference participants will be able to sign-up for a fifteen minute, one-on-one session with one of the Guild's three lawyers: Ralph Sevush, David Faux, Deborah Murad. Bring that nagging question you've always wanted to ask and have one of our lawyers guide you through to an answer.

The Making of a Juke-Box Musical. Roger Bean, the creator of The Marvelous Wonderettes (which has seen hundreds of productions throughout the country and world wide), will guide us through the complexities, legalities and difficulties of creating a juke-box musical.

Comedy Writing Across the Mediums. Members of the DG Council and regional rep staff will discuss how theatre, film and television are similar when constructing comedy, and at interesting times, completely dissimilar.n 2013, our conference, Having Our Say: Our History Our Future was a major success.


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MORE PROGRAMMING & MORE GUESTS!

Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, creator, writer and producer of  the enormously popular Designing Women, and with such other television credits as M*A*S*H, Rhoda, One Day At a Time, Evening Shade, novelist, documentarian and the bookwriter of the current musical adaptation of The First Wives Club (currently running in Chicago), will join us for a conversation with The Dramatist Editor, Joey Stocks.

We’ll continue on trend with our extraordinary member-generated workshops in La Jolla. Some of what’s already been scheduled includes Playwriting & Parenting (how do you juggle an artistic life with the responsibilities of family), Developing Musical Theatre Outside of NYC, Using the Senses to Create Character and Story, Building Community: How to Get Produced in Your Own City, Writing From History, Audio Drama and so many more. A full list of programming should be available by the end of April.

Laura Penn, Executive Director of SDC (The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers), Doug Wright and Ralph Sevush (Executive Director of Business DG Affairs) will have an open conversation about new business understandings between our two national organizations.

Marsha Norman (The Secret Garden, The Color Purple) will offer her two-hour workshop on crafting the book for a musical, as well as being one of our featured keynote speakers.

Roland Tec, Director of Membership, will offer advice and wisdom on self-production during drop-in office hours.


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PROGRAMMING & A REMINDER

As we begin designing some of the three days of programming that will be offered at the national conference, we want to keep you informed of what's taking shape.

Bobby Lopez (The Book of Mormon) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Frozen) will join us again to discuss some aspect of writing for musical theatre. These talented folks are in residence at La Jolla Playhouse this summer working on their new musical, Up Here.

Peter Hagan, President of Dramatists Play Service, Inc., will join us to discuss some aspects of new play development, play publishing and the very important relationship of DPS to the Dramatists Guild.

Ever wondered when or if you can use a Beatles song for a transition in your play? Deborah Murad, one of our incredibly capable lawyers here on staff, will offer a session on Copyright: Can I Do That?

And Roland Tec, our Director of Membership, will again offer the very popular Songwriter-Bookwriter Exchange at this year's conference.

CONFERENCE REMINDER: we know money is tight for everyone, and we're trying to help everyone in any direction that we can. To that end, just remember that the Early Bird Special conference fee ($325 for DG members, $435 for non-members) ends May 1. After that full registration is $395 for members and $515 for non-members.


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AFTER HOURS AT THE DG NATIONAL CONFERENCE

We are very excited to bring back After Hours programing - which was very successful at our 2013 conference in Chicago. In addition to the plethora of official conference programming, several Guild members will be presenting readings of their work or arranging informal gatherings around topics of interest. After Hours will take place at the same hotel as the conference, right after regular conference programing ends each day. All conference attendees are welcome to attend any After Hours event - free of charge!

If you want to present a table reading of something you’ve been working on with your peers, or maybe you’d like to talk about a certain 99 seat theatre issue that’s been on everyone’s mind, whatever your idea is - send it our way! If you are interested in organizing an event of your own, please contact Rebecca Stump, Manager of Member Services, at: rstump@dramatistsguild.com, for more details.

Here are two examples of what conference participants organized for our 2013 conference in Chicago:

Saturday, August 24 7:00PM-7:50pm
EM Lewis - The Gun Show
We have a gun problem in America; the problem is, we really, really like them.  A new one-person show about guns and gun control.

Friday, August 23 9:00PM-9:50PM
Nancy Cheser - Improvisation Workshop
Build on Jeffrey Sweet's workshop. Bring a scene that you would like improvised by fellow participants.


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MEMBER-GENERATED WORKSHOPS & PANELS

During our third national conference, we’ll have four tracks of programming running simultaneously. One track will be devoted to business and legal affairs for dramatists, two tracks -- focused on playwriting and musical theatre writing - will highlight many of our Council members attending the conference, and one track will be devoted completely to member-generated workshops and panels.

Last year, member-generated programming covered alternative forms of dramatic writing, dramatists on the web, theatre for young audiences, translations and adaptations, dramatists who teach underserved communities and balancing fact and fiction in dramatic writing. With almost three full days of scheduling, we’re hoping participating members will offer a wide variety of programming that interests everyone.

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WORKSHOPS, PANELS, & KEYNOTES

Beyond all the incredible members we have joining us from all over the country, here are a few of our Council members and special guests already signed on to join us across the three days in La Jolla:

Stephen Schwartz
Marsha Norman
John Weidman
Lisa Kron
Doug Wright
Amanda Green
Carol Hall
John Logan
Laura Penn
Bobby & Kristen Anderson-Lopez
Charlayne Woodard
Lynn Ahrens
Stephen Flaherty
(all participants subject to change)

Each week we'll be adding more and more workshops, panel and seminars hosted by Guild members across the country as well as our Council and staff. Here is a sampling of what's in the making:

The Making of the Musical The Color Purple
All-Star Cabaret of Composers and Lyricists
Issues of Gender and Sexuality On Stage
The Actor-Playwright
Making Art in Immersive, Site-Specific Theatre
A Member-Generated Monologue Slam
Writing for Theme Parks
Writing the Historical Drama

Adapting Theatre to Film: A Study of Wicked from Stage to Screen

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DISCOUNTED RATES AND AIRPORT TRANSFER INFO

Discounted Rates

DG has negotiated a discounted, group rate for a limited number of hotel rooms at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines at the rate of $199/night, plus applicable taxes, based on availability, for rooms that are booked through the conference website. The hotel will not take reservations directly.

Exclusively, for DG guests at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines, DG has negotiated discounted overnight self parking at a rate of $15/per night and a 50% discount of internet in the guest rooms per night.

Airport Transfer Info

For attendees wishing to schedule shuttle service to/from the San Diego airport to the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines, a group discount has been arranged with SuperShuttle. The group discount is $2.00 off a one way reservation and $4.00 off a round trip reservation. Either click on the link below or call 1-800-blue-van and use code LW4NK to receive this discount off of your total cost. There is an option to book Sedans as well. http://www.supershuttle.com/default.aspx?GC=LW4NK

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REGISTRATION INFORMATION

You are now able to register online for both the conference and hotel accommodations at La Jolla Hilton Torrey Pines at:
http://app.certain.com/profile/form/index.cfm?PKformID=0x20252499886



As with our first two conferences, Complete Conference Coordinators, Inc. will guide our members through this process. We think you'll find them to be incredibly helpful.

Aside from the beautiful surroundings of La Jolla, California, you'll also be treated in this conference to really exciting workshops, panels and conversations with some our country's leading theatre artists. Each week we'll be releasing more and more information about the conference, but for now we're happy to announce that Tony Award winning playwright, John Logan, (I'll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers, Red, The Last Ship), and screenwriter (Penny Dreadful, Skyfall, The Aviator, Gladiator) will open the conference Thursday night with a one-on-one conversation with the Guild's very own Joey Stocks.

We're also working with La Jolla Playhouse for a theatre outing on Friday night, as well as an all-star dramatist cabaret on Saturday night.

We're so looking forward to seeing you there. Register today (and save with our Early Bird Registration!) and cross one less thing off your "To do" list.

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Having Our Say: Our History Our Future

Audio/Video

 

In the Room: Lisa Kron

In the Room: George C. Wolfe

In the Room: Theresa Rebeck

In the Room: Martha Lavey

Conference Attendees

Click Here for a complete list of conference attendees

Playwrights In Mind A National Conversation

Audio/Video

 

In the Room: David Ives

In the Room: Christopher Durang

In the Room: Julia Jordan