There was much talk of The State of Theatre In America. Which, in case you don’t know, the state of theatre in America is this: bad. It’s bad. Fine. We know. To be fair, you couldn’t not address it. It must be addressed! That’s why Todd London’s keynote speech was so great. He went through the details of his study called Outrageous Fortune about how playwrights get the shit end of the stick in almost every way. Most of us already knew about this study, but it’s important to acknowledge it anyway. The great thing about it was that he ended by telling us all what steps are being taken to change the current state of theatre in America. Playwrights are getting more rights and higher prominence. He ended on a positive note. Which was great for me, because I came to the conference hoping to leave with a feeling of positivity about my life’s work. And I did!
Since these things can be overwhelming, it’s good to go in with some goals in mind. My goals were to meet some other playwrights, get inspired to write, get ideas about how to promote my work, and get a clearer understanding of the business end of playwriting. And I think the conference fulfilled my expectations completely. I didn’t go to every talk or reading or workshop or panel discussion. But I went to the ones that I thought looked the most awesome. And I would definitely say that all in all the conference was a great success. And if nothing else, going to a big conference center in the middle of nowhere (if you don’t have a car) with hundreds of like-minded people really makes you feel a part of a community of artists. And telling someone you met twenty minutes before that the worst part of the conference so far was that assy-tasting gas station wine you drank in your hotel room while watching HGTV and having them understand and relate to you is definitely worth the price of admission.
Check out a lot of the action on NEWPLAY TV's DG Conference video library here.