Natural Born Producers

3 Apr

Hey writer, who is the best person to produce your play? You.

Sure, if Andrew Upton calls, let it go to message bank, and get back to him at your convenience.

Or if some 22 year old with more enthusiasm than ability wants to stage your play in a car park in Fairfield, go for it. (It’s difficult to see you as serious writer if you won’t help mount a production of your play that could be truly awful.)

So why are you the best producer? Because you care. Because you want it to happen. Because you wrote the play to be seen.

gilchrist ship

I’m not dismissing the people with real skills and experience in the field of producing. If they want to do it, you’d be a fool to stop them. But while you are waiting for that stampede of interest…..

The relative exclusion of the writer from the process is a historical accident. Sophocles was there. Shakespeare was there. Moliere was there. The current division of labour is very bourgeois, and has gone hand in hand with an obsession with status. (Writing that is worthwhile challenges established values, so a writer seeking status is as absurd as a spy wanting recognition.)

But what about the money? I hope you make an absolute heap. And then distribute it to the people who need it. But the obsession to get paid for your work is another bourgeois cultural phenomenon. As is calling it ‘work’. We all need to eat, but if you value your voice only for the cash you can make out of it you’ve allowed it to be reduced to just another commodity. Would government funding or private sponsorship have made the Sermon on the Mount better?

‘But if it was any good wouldn’t someone pay me for it?’ That attitude is loud and clear in our society, and perfectly designed to silence dissent.

Why did you write the play in the first place? If you wrote it in the hope of gaining fame or wealth it’s probably not worth being produced. Our society has heard quite enough of that voice.

But if you wrote it in order to share a vision of life, don’t stop now.

If you wrote it to remind the miserable of happiness, or the happy of misery, don’t stop now.

Veronica Kaye

5 Responses to “Natural Born Producers”

  1. lozbecause April 3, 2014 at 5:00 am #

    I love this!

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Gina April 3, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    Don’t stop now. Who wants fame? What does it mean to be famous? I think the majority of us like the anonymity of simply; being, here, now, telling the story.

  3. lisathatcher April 3, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

    Fantastic Post – I couldn’t agree more!

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