Present: Hari R, Mark C, Marianne P, Pariah K, Rosalind P, Andy H

My thanks to those who joined us for the discussion. Some areas for me to reflect on with the owner/publisher.

a) If a play has been self-published can it still be picked up by the licensing publisher. Presuming the rights are held by the author still.
b) Does an Artistic Director mind if a play has been published already (self o other) when they are looking for a work. We sensed that the answer is “no” provided the rights have not been snaffled up, and they could have a “premiere” of some sort – national, regional etc.
c) Self publicizing or publishing writers are often the get-up-and-go ones and so they are exactly the ones a publisher should collaborate with if a system can be found.
d) Bechdel are often approached for good plays – so they may have great lists.
e) Play Pie and Pint could be a great source of plays.
f) Playwrights Studio Scotland is another great source – and there was a feeling that the creative pipeline is much clearer in Scotland and that this publisher could be a welcome addition to the journey.
g) Writers may have short plays they have done for craft/presentations – 15-20 minutes. Is there a publishing and performance market in the pro world – if not, could it be fashioned.
h) We talked Micratheatre (Spain) and Triple Bills (ballet) as examples of ways theatres could develop presentations.
i) Difficulty for a writer to move from the 15 minute form to the 50min and onward to 2Act form – how can that be helped and supported.
j) There is a London perspective that 50 mins is a great length, whilst maybe a Regional theatregoer perspective of wanting more of a night out and not be shortchanged with a short play.
k) Could there be curtain raisers and then a 1Act 2nd half piece.
l) A book “Change Journey” – Voice of the creative quest – about writing was highlighted as something to look at.
m) Papatango, Theatre503 and Verity Bargate longlists could be sources of work to assess.
n) Reminded that we might best look for “plays with a long vision – rather than zeitgeist work”…especially because these could also have international potential.
o) The joy of new writing is “finding the nucleus that goes out, out, out, phzzzz” into a universal place.
p) “As a writer with an obsession that needs to be written, will I find others who share that obsession and that it will resonate with a larger audience, directors and theatres.” (paraphrase)

I was struck by the fact that across the room there was a session with a vast array of playwrights exploring stuff like opportunities, and here were the “right people” gathered into our small group, including just 2 writers, exploring an exciting opportunity. “Whatever happens…” and I was surprised we didn't get bumblebees.

I will update this report with the info about the search for 10 works when it is confirmed.