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Writers talking to producers and directors

Issue: Writers talking to producers and directors

Convener(s): Cathy Grindrod

Participants:  Cathy, Chrissie Thornhill, Chris (Mansfield Palace), Paul, Richard and Honor, writers

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

How do producers/directors best engage with writers?
Chris (Ed Manager, producer): work with a group of writers under a dramaturg – same group of writers for a few years – leading to First Nights. Do not give commissions although commissioning their dramaturg to do a community play which depends on funding. Closed door more or less at moment re new writers. As freelance director advises EMTAC – needing a space for your work to be supported, shown, etc in collaboration. Recognising no money for this, but a stepping stone for writers.
People not sure of EMTAC – do performance nights to which work can be submitted. Feeback given.
Scriptwriting places advised – Scriptworks in Manchester, Everyman, Soho, Royal Court, Traverse Theatre.
Discussion on forming own groups (eg Derby Scriptwriters); asking actors to read your work and give feedback. Actors necessary to read your work as give fresh perspectives – writers critiquing writers can become insular.
Group participant had rehearsed reading at Curve set up by Leic Writing School – couldn’t get actors. Producer in group not aware of this happening. Led to discussion on better publicity etc. How writers, directors, actors all need each other.
Crucial need for an audience for your work – having an audience rather than a writer or theatre professional to feed back to you to. Process between writers, actors, directors, producers discussed.

What is the best way to approach a director of producer?
EMTAC, networking etc. Going to theatres and gaining newsletters etc.
Discussion about frustration on the part of some writers as a feeling that it is harder to network easily in theatre than it is in other writing genres, and less open and equal.
Actors Workshop, Nottingham – for actors who might read your pieces.

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