cover art of The Reality Check Issue: A solemn playwright with a long, winding sweater sleeve that has small illustrations detailing the struggles of a writer.
Rejection Letters That Never Made It Into Print

Illustrations by Tom Funk.

Floating envelope against yellow backdrop

Illustration of Racine by Tom Funk

Dear Racine:

Your play has finally reached my desk, recommended for further review by the assistant to the Literary Associate, who is my assistant. We tend not to produce tragedies. We prefer light comedies with a light message, one that audiences can feel good about. Suggestion: change Phaedra’s name; it conjures images of Lady Macbeth, Gertrude, and Medea. Phoebe might work. By the way, is Racine your first or last name?


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Stanley Taikeff

received his M.A. in Theater from Hunter College. He served in New York Army National Guard from 1963-69. Honors & Awards include NJSCA, Shubert Fellowship, John Golden Award, 2009 Nathan Miller History Play Contest, Samuel French Original Short Play Festival (OOB), CAPS Grant finalist, National Play Award. Alumnus, New Dramatists; O’Neill Playwright, Columbia Pictures Television Workshop for Writers.