It’s no secret: I’m not a fan of summer. The sun and I don’t get along, and once the temperature passes ninety degrees, I’m sorely tempted to slam my head in a door until I pass out, which is why this is such a lovely time of year for me. The cooler weather, the tasty squashes, the wondrous beers of Oktoberfest, and three outstanding events in the Philadelphia area that should appeal to authors and playwrights of every stripe.
I’ve already mentioned the Push to Publish conference at Rosemont College, but it merits repeating since it’s coming up so soon. That’s on Saturday, October 11. It’s a smaller conference, and what it lacks in sheer numbers of agents, speakers, and attendees, it makes up for in more personalized attention. Also, at $95, the registration fee is way way way more reasonable. This was my first writers’ conference, and if you’re looking to dip your toes in the pool, this is a great place to do it.
Second, PlayPenn is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a gala dinner at the World Cafe on Monday, October 20. Tickets are $50 for artists and $125 for civilians, which might seem pricey, but considering that they’ve been providing free readings to the public for the last decade, I think it’s a steal. You’ll get the opportunity to rub elbows with some of the coolest playwrights around, and I’ve no doubt that Paul Meshejian will provide quite the spread.
Thirdly, The 2014 Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre are on Monday, October 27. I’ve attended the Barrymores nearly every year since the mid-1990s, and if you want any kind of theater career in Philly, this is a must-attend event. In the interests of full disclosure, I was hired to write the script for the ceremony in 2006 and was nominated for an award in 2009, but I was a proponent of the Barrymores for long before. It’s a place where Philadelphia’s theater community gets to dress in their finest, celebrate their colleagues, and hobnob. If there’s a local director, actor, designer, or playwright that you’ve been wanting to meet, they will almost certainly be here. Let me be blunt: if you want to be a theater professional in this town, and you have a choice between attending the Barrymores and eating, I highly advise you stock up on ramen noodles for the next few weeks.