Ken Davenport, producer of Blithe Spirit, Altar Boyz, 13, and a number of other Broadway and Off-Broadway shows.
What makes Davenport amazing? It's not because he held a Broadway blogger social. It's not because he divulges his theatrical heart five days a week in his Producer's Perspective blog. Nor is it because he helped bring a new Jason Robert Brown score to the stage. Though these are all awe-inducing achievements, Davenport is amazing because he has done the daring and unthinkable.
He's accepting play submissions.
Let's take a mome (to quote movie Millie Dillmount) to contemplate this.
In the Broadway/Hollywood industry, people on any level of power carefully erect monumental walls to control the flow of ideas reaching them. In theory, only the best ideas from the smartest people make it over the wall.
In other words, it's who you know. It is not easy to make it over those walls, and only the best of ideas (like Life on a Stick, Brooklyn: The Musical, and Gigli) get through.
What makes this so daring is that there are many, many people like me--aspiring-to-be-produced writers who so passionately want to make it. The problem is, we have an inflated sense of our own talent.
(Potentially Mediocre Talent + Open Access) x Everyone Out There = A Lot of Work
I never fully understood why the barriers were erected until I found myself in a career where I sort through resumes. You get a whole heck of a lot of junk in order to find a useful morsel. Change out a one-page resume and insert a 150-page movie script or a 90-page musical, and someone's assistant is getting overtime.
But the hope is in that phrase--useful morsel. Someone doesn't have to be well-connected to be talented or to have a well-executed idea. Literary agents accept unsolicited query letters all the time, which is how many talented writers get a start in writing fiction and non-fiction. Now, playwrights have the same opportunity.
Just as exciting is the offer you see by scrolling down on the page. For a $49 fee, you can get an analysis of your script. Gasp! That's better than any deal at Wal-Mart.
While this doesn't help me now (no music for my musicals has always been a problem), what hope it brings! Someone needs to submit an amazing idea now so this fluke can become a trend. Remind everyone that you don't need to know the right person to be talented.
the Broadway Mouth
May 27, 2009