Thursday, March 01, 2007

Dramatist Guild acts against submission fees

Hooray, hooray, hooray!
as Gary says, "it’s a spirit issue: it’s demeaning"

Dramatist Guild Steps Up to the Plate!

FRom DG Newsletter!

As of today, the Guild will no longer publicize calls for
submissions that have a fee attached unless that fee is transparent
(where does the money go and to whom) in the description to the
reader. The subtext: it is not okay to charge a dramatist a fee to
supplement a theatre or producer’s production opportunity. YOUR ART
I know all the arguments of why some theatres and producers
position that they must charge fees: “We couldn’t afford to produce
the event if we didn’t charge a fee. We have to hire readers. We
have to publicize the event. We have to pay the actors and
directors. We have to offer prize money . . .” I understand that,
but theatres and producers are doing that on the backs of people
that are more poor than they are! What?! On average, dramatists
spend ten dollars to submit a play or musical anywhere in this
country: printing, copying, postage, return postage, binders,
envelopes. If a theatre or producer tacks on an additional $10, $15
or $30 fee, one submission now costs anywhere from $20-50, with no
guarantees that anything will come of it. And yes, I know: there
are no guarantees for anyone in the theatre. But all too often this
feels like, “we’re not going to guarantee you anything, AND we’re
going to charge you for the privilege of that, AND you’ll probably
never hear from us, AND don’t expect any kind of critical reaction
to your material, AND don’t expect notification of who, in fact,
was chosen.” And if it’s not a money issue then it’s a spirit
issue: it’s demeaning enough to submit your work to theatres and
producers that you never hear from. To pay someone for their
silence is too much to ask anyone...... we will no longer list an opportunity that requires you pay a fee to be considered for inclusion.

Enough is enough.

Gary Garrison, DG

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