Special thanks to the good citizens of Philadelphia New Play Initiative and Directors Gathering for scheduling a joint whatzit, wherein, a pile of hungry directors and a pile of hungry playwrights were thrust into the same room to claw at one another for an opportunity.
I must admit, I didn’t quite know what to expect when I was invited to this soiree, but I had fun. Fergie’s Pub is always a great place to enjoy a pint, and I caught up with some old friends and made some new ones and marveled at just how freaking young the new players are. Maybe I’ve been in this business too long.
From a selfish point of view, I was hoping to move along my private agenda of getting Hum produced in Philly (after being developed at PlayPenn and receiving a terrific production in DC, I think it’s overdue). This wasn’t just me playing at Machiavelli; the whatzit was billed as a means of discussing our “dream projects” with sympathetic ears. That was fun, but to be honest, there wasn’t a lot of people with connections in the room. To be sure, there is value to meeting the up-and-coming players, and maybe the up-and-coming players got a kick out of meeting a guy like me who’s been around the block a few times, but unless I seriously misread the room, I don’t foresee a lot of productions coming out of this.
Unless—and this is just me speculating as I type this—there’s another possibility. Rumor has it that InterAct may be leaving the main stage of the Adrienne Theater, and some discussion has been devoted to whether the space should be made available for small, independent productions. It might be that this whatzit was to determine the level of potential collaboration; seeing what the game pieces look like before the game is set in motion. If that’s the case…well, then, PNPI and DG are simply evil geniuses and we should all bow before their benevolent rule.
I’d like to end this thing with some helloes to my new friends. Apart from myself, nobody was arrogant enough to hand out business cards, so I don’t know any of my new friends’ last names, but hopefully they’ll follow the website on the back of my card and find this post. So, a quick hello to Jill-who-directed-Boise, Karl-from-Drexel, John-from-Drexel-who-is-also-a-mechanical-engineer, Manon-the-Marxist, Liz-who-has-no-funny-moniker, and Pauley Pocket (not really her last name). Shoot me an email, if any of you are interested in grabbing lunch, sometime.