An Interview I did with Ognian Georgiev, a Bulgarian broadcaster, writer and blogger!
Today is Tuesday and for most people that would mean another day at the office or in class but for a growing number of playwrights its a day to pull out a play they’ve trunked or a that needs dusted off or one they are working on and need a new set of eyes to look over because Tuesdays in the playwright community has become “Trade A Play Tuesdays” or #TAPT
So what exactly is #TAPT? Well it’s just as the name suggests, its a day where playwrights take the time to trade a short play (no more then 10 pages) with another playwright and you offer feedback on each others works. I’ve done this twice (for plays that I’m the process of developing) and both times the feedback has been great. But don’t take my word for it…
I’ve now had readings of my play by 6 members of this group. All of them contributed something useful, and several went out of their way to give me the encouragement a newbie like me needs.
David C Tucker
I have traded with Donna and I personally believe she should be paid for her feedback, it’s that valuable. I immediately adopted some changes based on her observations and look forward to continuing. I will definitely be trading again
Those aren’t the only ones that have participated, according to Donna Hoke, who started #TAPT,
There has never been a week where somebody hasn’t shown up with a play to trade, that there are continual newcomers, and that more than 500 trades have been made, which is more than 1000 plays.
Over a 1000 plays in the year that it has been going on! No wonder the competition is so stiff in every contest we all enter
So how did this all get started? Well according to Donna and the blog she herself wrote on it,
One Tuesday, I had just finished a ten-minute play that I wasn’t sure about. I usually don’t ask for feedback on ten-minutes, but this one was a little unusual, and I felt like I wanted some. So I posted on the Playwright Binge asking if anybody wanted to trade a ten-minute play for feedback. The response was incredible! I ended up reading 20 ten-minute plays that day, and got a ton of feedback on mine that helped shape it and make it funnier.
So today, I woke up, it’s Tuesday, I have a couple new ten-minutes, and I thought why not make this a regular thing? There are no development opportunities for ten-minute plays but, as with any play, a ten-minute can be improved with thoughtful feedback and attention. (You may also send ten-page scenes that you’d like some feedaback on.) So let’s provide for each other what doesn’t exist.
I know how invaluable getting feedback on a play can be. The ones that have gotten productions are the ones that get other eyes looking at them. Weather that’s from a trusted writing partner (as until recently, has always been the way I do it) or from a stranger, new eyes give us the chance to step back and hear others thoughts. I know when I’m writing a play, I’m pouring tons of creative energy into it and that often leaves me too close to the material to judge it objectively. That is where new eyes come in handy.
So who is this person who started #TAPT? Donna is a playwright, journalist, children’s author and crossword constructor from Buffalo, NY who also serves as the Western New York representative for the Dramatist’s Guild of America, which allows her to foster the playwright community in her area (which makes me want to move to the western NY area LOL) She makes her artistic home as an ensemble playwright at Road Less Traveled Productions, where the premiere of her first full-length production, The Couple Next Door, was the theater’s top-grossing world premiere and the sixth highest grossing play in the theater’s history.
So, playwrights if you have a 10 minute play or a 10 page scene you’d like some feedback on, I suggest participating in Trade A Play Tuesday!
Some helpful links:
#JeSuisCharlie In my play THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE STORY OF TOM SAWYER AS TOLD BY BECKY THATCHER, I included, at the very end of the show, a bit of satire. Not the greatest writing in the world and that good of satire but a light poking at president of the time. The line goes “George? That boy was dumb enough to be president.” This was inspired, no doubt, from my love of Saturday Night Love, The State and other comedy groups. I found out later (not at the time of the performance) that one of the actors parents got upset at my friend who co-directed the show and accused him of bringing a liberal bias into everything he did there. People get upset at satire all the time, its how we respond that matters.
Satire, in all its forms, really is our expression of speech. That’s why we can mock President Obama the same way we mocked President Bush and President Clinton, and President Bush, and President Reagan and President Carter and President Ford and President Nixon and…well the list goes on.
As someone who cares about the arts, who supports the arts, who lives in the arts, the minute we silence one voice in one area, gives us the power to silence the voices of anyone we disagree with and that will lead to tyranny and the end of our humanity.