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November 16, 2012

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cgeye

Where can I buy a copy of your trilogy?

I need: Hope.

Mac

Hi cgeye! Unfortunately it is not for sale in any form at the moment, but if you contact me at mac dot rogers at gmail dot com I'll be happy to email it to you. Or if that creates anonymity problems is there someone I can send it through?

Nat Cassidy

Great conversation, guys. Lord knows this is something I think about all the time, as well. I'm always taken aback whenever some industry person reads a script of mine and says, "I love it, but it's just not producable," when in fact I just produced the damn thing for an aglet myself. It's doubly frustrating to know that any given commercial musical, even a small one, costs a literally insane amount of money to be produced, and that any number of overly ambitious straight plays could be covered by that kind of budget. Call me naive, but if there was just more of an effort to sell new, exciting plays to tourists and patrons, the audiences would come - it doesn't all have to be THE THING YOU ALREADY HEARD OF: THE MUSICAL, which, to my mind, though it gets some of the easy consumers in, loses a good chunk of people that would otherwise be willing to see something new and exciting. (Of course, something's gotta be done about ticket prices, too, but that's a whole 'nother conersation.)

That being said, though, and while I'm trying to cater my newer scripts to these more "commercial" constraints, I feel like there's always hope for our more ambitious works. I just got back from the first-ever regional production of my script ANY DAY NOW at a theatre that had no connection to me whatsoever, in a state I'd never even visited before, and it was fantastically received. ANY DAY NOW, which granted isn't a trilogy but almost might as well be, is a very full three-act, two-intermission epic about the zombie apocalypse and never leaves one family's kitchen. It first went up in January 2009 at the tiny Manhattan Theatre Source for about half of a song and has been scaring away producers ever since. Who knows if/where it'll ever be done again, but to see it be produced on a huge stage in a big-boy-sized theatre in front of an excited audience after so many people told me "I love it, but it's just not producable," it made me feel like less of an idiot for writing it.

By the way, this theatre found the script in a collection published by Martin and Rochell Denton's PLAYS & PLAYWRIGHTS collection. So, while writers like us, we may have scripts too difficult for the Off-Broadway producers, as long as we've got patron saints like the Dentons, we ain't alone in our quest for viability.

Mac

Nat, among the many great points you make here, I particularly take the point that "epic" doesn't need to equal "multi-part." I only wrote about multi-installment plays in my post (Angels, Pittsburgh, Kentucky, Angel-Eaters) but open out to single evening epics and there's a lot more to talk about: ANY DAY NOW, Gus Schulenberg's LESSER SEDUCTIONS OF HISTORY and JACOB'S HOUSE, Qui Nguyen's THE INEXPLICABLE REDEMPTION OF AGENT G, James Comtois's THE LITTLE ONE - and these are just off the top of my head and playwrights I know personally.

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