Two months ago, I parted ways with the Peninsula Players board. It grieved me to do so, but my integrity dictates that I stand up for my principles. And my priniciples dictated that I cannot serve on the board of a group whose policies I disagree with. So I resigned.
The issue was paying playwrights. It’s a national abhorrence, and reform has to start somewhere. I wanted it to start right here, on the Long Beach Peninsula.
When a theater group decides to perform a play, they “purchase” limited rights to do so. Royalties are paid, per performance, to the publishing house such as Samuel French, or Baker’s Plays, who, in turn, pay the playwright.
I proposed that we also start paying for the work of amateur playwrights. For without the playwright, there is nothing to perform! An actor without a writer is a waiter! The writer sits at the very soul of the production. How can anyone not see that all writers need to be compensated for their blood, sweat, tears, and engaging dialog?
Alas, it’s “standard policy” that amateur playwrights are not paid. Period. A HORRIBLE PARADIGM!!! If the play is good enough to perform, it must be well-written and worthy of performance! And besides, I need to pay MY bills, too!
Let’s start a theatrical revolution right here, right now! Come on, EVERYBODY CHANT! Pay the amateur playwright! Pay the amateur playwright! Pay the amateur playwright!
It’s awfully quiet out there….