I was looking at the New Play Data i posted over here again and i was just thinking about compensation issues and... well.. how across-the-board, our compensation model is totally nuts. We've already talked about the difficulties for actors and directors who want to make a living, but let's hone in on a few statistics from that earlier post:
-- Roughly 3% of income is from royalties
-- Playwright system of remuneration i.e. the royalty mechanism does not work
-- Commissions? Playwrights consider them a mixed bag. Why?
-- Avg. commission amount = $3-4K
-- Takes 6 months-2 years to write a play (if you took one year to write a play at $4K, you'd be making $333.33 off writing that play)
-- Theater gets to hold onto it for up to several years even if they don't produce it, keeping playwright from making additional $$$ off of it.
When you put it that way... how are writers supposed to earn money anyway? The two big things that we're told are going to be their sources of income (commissions and royalties) are in fact a very, very small percentage of their earnings.