Thursday, March 29, 2007

An Exchange with a Student

Re your "few Questions..."
Dear J,
Thank you for the kind words about my writing.
The monologue from "Elegy" condenses several pages of dialogue into a single story. I'm sending you an attached copy of the script of the play-- but it is also on my Stagepage web site. There should be a live link to the play "Elegy" from the monologue. You can also see a video of my actor friend Robert Bonotto performing it on Stagepage -- he also performed it at a March Madness monologue Festival here in Boston, celebrating women playwrights who, like me, belong to the International Centre for Women Playwrights. Robert was very moving in the monologue: the audience was enthusiastic. Your interpretation would be different from his, of course. Each actor brings something different to a good monologue.
Conventional Behavior is on the site, too.
As long as these are simply class projects, this email will serve as official permission from me, the author/publisher, for you, Joey Ptashinski, to perform and/or direct these pieces of mine in a non-commercial setting.
If your school or organization undertakes a ticket-selling production, you will need a more formal contract, probably in the name of a teacher, coach or school administrator: an email version of the Dramatists Guild contract used by amateurs and educational institutions. It is still simple and cheap--- $5 to $50 per performance, depending on the length of the script and the price and number of tickets sold.

Mrs Horton,
Thank you for the copies, is there any way to get a publication for these items? Like in a book? from a company like Playscripts, Inc...and so on. It's just to use any of your work, it needs to be a published play.
I really love your work and would like to use these items, if I could. I would like to talk with you more on the one-act matter if these are published plays.

Thank you.
The Library of Congress Copyright Office considers me the publisher of the plays on web publishing counts as published, even if the author does it him/her self. The plays you named are registered with the LCCO: Work of Performing Arts # PAu 2-738-647, under the title "Collected Plays 1975-2001 by Geralyn 'G.L.' Horton." My plays are nationally distributed-- internationally, even: anyone anywhere in the world who has a computer can read and download them. However, they are NOT commercially printed. I will at request laser-print and bind a play and mail it to a customer willing to pay for the labor, printing, and postage-- which is NOT cheap!-- but that is not my real business: I am leasing production rights. Free use of my web published short pieces for non-commercial and educational purposes is my advertising campaign.

There must be several different kinds of acting competitions/ leagues, with differing rules. I know that my pieces-- including the monologue and 2 plays you are interested in-- are used by schools. I get thank you emails from successful students who have won prizes or placement, and queries from teachers and judges who have heard and admired my work.

"Conventional Behavior" has had productions in high schools and colleges and at theatres and science fiction conventions. However, a school using the play in a competition is unlikely to perform before an audience that contains anyone who has seen a production of it. 40 productions in 20 years still means that only about 8000 people out of 300,000,000 have ever seen it.

I think it may even be illegal-- in "restraint of trade"-- for an organization to require that only scripts from certain publishers may be used.
I hope that you will share this information with the people who make the rules. I am far from the only playwright who publishes through a web site or with an on-demand publishing co-op. Digital publishing is niche publishing's future, and it is here now.

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