Seattle by Kate Danley
How do I network?” “How do I find allies and advocates?” “I know theatres are looking for plays like mine, but how do I let them know I’m right here?”
It seems like one of the more daunting obstacles facing playwrights is figuring out how to leave the safe glow of the computer monitor and get into the local community to form the personal connections so vital for success.
Local Seattle Ambassador Andrew Creech decided to help members tackle this problem head on.
This past August and September, Andrew spearheaded two special networking events entitled Speed Date Your Play. ACT Theatre and Theatre Puget Sound generously provided space as over 75 artists converged on Seattle to talk about their art and aesthetics. Playwrights were paired with local directors and theatre makers. Each had three minutes to pitch their plays, dreams, and goals to one another; a bell would ring; and then they would move on to a new pair in the hopes of finding an artistic match.
Directors, playwrights, and theatre makers associated with ACT Theatre, Dacha, Funhouse, University of Washington, Macha Theatre Works, Taproot, Ghostlight Theatricals, Mistresspiece Theatre, Northwest Playwrights Alliance, Grief Dialogues, Spokane Civic Theatre, Pacific Lutheran University, Red Rover, Seattle Playwrights Circle, Edmonds Community College, Seattle Playwrights Salon, Gay City, and more attended. In addition to local artists, 15% of participants were from out of town. They drove, flew, or took the train from as far as Spokane, Olympia, Tacoma, Portland, OR, and Missoula, MT.
Connections were made at what will be a new annual event and over eight projects have already reported that they are moving on to the next stages of development – either as readings or as full productions. An introverted town infamous for “The Seattle Chill” became a cozier, friendlier community thanks to some creative matchmaking by Ambassador Andrew Creech.