Dear DG Affiliates,
With autumn underway and the changing of the seasons, we turn toward a time of warmth, connection, and new possibility. With that, we thank you for your continued dedication and support for those who are out creating and innovating dynamic work that will surely shape the fabric of our shared theatrical ecosystem in the coming years. The uplifting of voices and new stories is perhaps more important now than ever – and you are the connective tissue bringing it together.
We would love to invite everyone to join us on January 20 at 1pm-2:30pm EST for an Affiliates Gathering during which we will focus on the topic: “Engaging with Your Local Writing Communities.” We will partner with our members, artistic directors Teresa Coleman Wash and Franky Gonzalez of Bishop Arts Theatre Center in Dallas, TX to discuss the recent survey from our Regional Affairs Committee and to dream up new ways for theaters to embrace the writers in their own local communities. It will also be an excellent opportunity for you to meet some of the other Affiliates and artistic leaders doing superb work with new writers.
As we plan a new beginning, you will play an essential role in ensuring that the folks who are courageous enough to share their stories with the world are embraced throughout the process of creating and staging their work. The Affiliates Program is designed to be a symbiotic relationship, so we want to make sure that you have the tools you need to communicate our shared values. As a DG Affiliate, you have access to every DG Model Contract to guide you in developing reasonable standards for equitable agreements, including our Commission Agreement, Live Stream Digital Rights Agreement, Devised Theatre Resource Manual, Inclusion Rider, and more. Planning to bring a contest or festival to your community? We’ve got a kit for that: our Best Practices for Contests & Festivals. Wondering how to bill a writer when marketing a production? Take a peak at our Best Practices for Authorial Billing. If you’re simply curious about new ideas on how to engage with writers, just drop us a line and we can share some thoughts.
We offer these resources as ‘roadmaps’ for your conversations with writers as you navigate the ambiguous new landscape of the American theatre. Of course, if you ever have questions or require additional clarification, your Affiliate status also grants you one-to-one consultation with our Business Affairs team via the BA Career Help Desk any time you need it.
Theatre-making doesn’t start and end with a contract, and there is much to learn from others about standard practices. If you’re ever curious about what’s going on in other places, you can take a look at our Member Newsroom or see what’s been going on in our “Dear Industry” newsletter (you are automatically enrolled), which will be starting up again shortly for the 2022/23 season. Have something you’d like to share with us that you think might be helpful to others? Just reply to this email.
There are many resources available to Affiliates at any given time, all located in the Affiliates Center on the DG website. To access the Affiliates Center, log in to the DG website, click on My Dashboard, and select “Affiliates Center” from the left-hand column. If you’re unsure of your login, it should be in the “welcome” email you received from us, or you can just reply to this email and we’ll get you sorted.
We hope to see you on January 20!
And lastly, a note from Co-Executive Director, Emmanuel Wilson:
I'm sharing an article on paying dramatists for rehearsals. Click here to read the article, which is from our forthcoming Nov/Dec issue of The Dramatist - The Money Issue.
Out of respect for your position as Members and/or Affiliates and artistic leaders, we want to allow you to read the article before it goes public later this month. As our industry grapples with issues of equity and fairness, we aim to ensure that theatre writers are included in the conversation. Writers may have questions for you when this issue is published, and so we want you to be as prepared as possible.
In addition, the DG is researching and developing recommendations for best practices at Non-Profit Theatres so that our writers have some guidance when evaluating opportunities regarding the submission and production of their work in those spaces. We recognize that, to provide the most accurate information on this topic, we need input from various perspectives, especially from the non-profit theatres themselves.
Towards that end, some of the issues we'd like to learn more about from you include the following:
- The script submission, review, and selection process;
- The hosting of an author as a guest in your community during the rehearsal and production period,
- The issues around compensation and expense reimbursement for the author's services and the licensing of their work for production;
- The author's role in the selection of artistic personnel and in making revisions to the script;
- The author's involvement with your community and other aspects of your institution;
- The crediting and promotion of authors and their works; and
- The issues around a theater's request for submission fees, subsidiary rights, and/or future production options.
We invite you to share your thoughts on these topics with us, including any relevant issues not listed here and any information you are willing to share regarding how your theatre handles such matters. While you are free to forward any input you may have via e-mail, we are looking to schedule a Zoom meeting shortly to discuss these matters with a group of artistic directors. The date and time for that meeting are forthcoming. If, however, you would prefer to speak with us privately, please let us know.
We thank you in advance for your invaluable contribution to our efforts. As we continue to develop tools for our members to assess possible production opportunities, we will keep you advised on our progress.
With all of this, and anything else, we invite you to drop us a line by replying to this email – even if it’s just to say hello! It would be wonderful to hear from you. Wishing you all good things as we head into the festive season.
How can you better engage with the theatre writers in your community?
Become a DG Affiliate or a Host Theatre.
Theatre begins with the writer. From the spark of an idea to fingers on a keyboard, writers ignite a play, musical, or devised theatre piece at its conception. To support a dramatist means supporting the entire industry at its base. Join a growing network of theatres and arts organizations committed to sustaining a vital community of theatre writers, and receive valuable professional services and benefits. Connect with local playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists (and let us do the work). It's easy. It's free.
Becoming a DG Affiliate or Host Theatre means gaining free access to DG benefits generally reserved for our members. You'll be able to download our model contracts and industry best practices, obtain a free subscription to our magazine, receive invitations to select Guild events, and so much more. Above all, you'll nurture artists and help the theatre industry to grow and thrive for years.