Rachel Bublitz


Submission Mission Part Two: My Wishes For Theaters

January 18, 2018

Last October I wrote a post called Submission Mission Part One: Hey Playwrights! in which I laid out five things a playwright can do to make submission less painful for themselves, and today I'm going to come at it from the other side of the equation… Yeah, that's right, this is my wish list aimed at all the theaters, festivals, and producers who put out calls for playwrights. I may be shunned from the theater community at large for this post, but it's a risk I'm willing to take.

As usual when I'm giving feedback, please feel free to take from this what you find useful, and ignore the rest…

1. Tell Us What You Want, What You Really, Really Want

I have a lot of different material; Greek-myth adaptations, broad comedies, sci-fi and fantasy stories, TYA scripts, character driven plays with social commentary, one-acts, full-lengths, shorts, and more. I don't think one theater wants to read and/or produce all of my plays, but I do think that there are theaters who'd be interested in specific scripts of mine. So tell us what you want! And feel free to list a few things if you're interested in multiple types of plays, I really love submission calls that include a “wish list” of sorts from the artistic staff covering the work they'd like to discover.

2. Embrace Industry Standards!

There are a lot of hoops I'll jump through for any given submission… Snail mail? You got it. Blinded script? Yep. Artistic statements and samples? I got you covered. Got specific questions for me? Send them my way! But I will often pass on a submission when it's asking for things too far off the beaten path. Here are my biggest pet-peeves:

3. For The Love Of God, If It's A No, Just Reject Me!

I don't mind rejections. Every submission I send out is a little bit of hope, and since I send out so many, I've always got a lot of hope out in the world at any given time. Hearing a final “no” is always welcome, because then I can reserve my energy hoping over things I'm still in the running for. I know this can be a pain, and I'm not even looking for anything personal, just a, “Hey, thank you for submitting, but we didn't select your work” is welcome.

And if you're still not convinced it's something you can pull off, an easy fix is to list a date on your submission page: “If you don't hear from us within a year (or however long), it's a pass.”

4. While We're On Rejections….

But, there is one little thing about those mass-rejection emails…. If you do it (which again, is preferred to radio-silence) please, please, please, please, please BCC the playwrights you're turning down. I always feel funny (in a not great way) about being cobbled onto a 200+ email with all the other rejected playwrights. Throw those emails into the BCC section, it makes your organization look SO much more professional, and it makes me want to engage with your theater again in the future.

5. Take Advantage Of New Tech

This one helps me, as it always streamlines my process sending work anywhere, but it also helps you as an organization. I highly recommend taking advantage of one of these new systems available for submission taking.

Places that charge:


And those are just the ones I know about, there are more out there, so if none of the above fit the bill, do some digging online.

So that about covers it for me, fingers crossed I won't be ostracized from theater for the rest of my life! And good luck to all the folks sending out and receiving submissions out there! After all, we need both sides of it to make this thing work.

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