We always hear the term “marketplace of ideas.” I’ve decided to put it into practice. How so?
Like most writers, I’ve got a notebook of ideas. It’s just sitting here, waiting. Every now and then, I’ll dip into it, pull out an idea and write a script. This is a good thing, especially when my theatre company changes plans abruptly and we need a script that’s ideal for three specific people. (This has happened.)
But what about all the other plays waiting to be written?
That’s what this page is for. I’m setting up shop for a playwriting sale.
The guidelines are simple. A new play commission ranges anywhere from $5,000 to $12,500, depending. With that fee comes the right of first refusal for a premiere production. I’ll do one better. I’m willing to write any of these script ideas for $2,500 a piece with a guarantee of production plus a standard royalty agreement for performances. To bypass the production guarantee and buy a right of first refusal will cost an additional $1,000.
The bonus round: For a $5,000 commission, I will develop a script tailor-made for your theatre company’s specifications, whether a particular group of actors, a setting or location, a piece of local history you’re looking to dramatize, what have you. You set the parameters. Of course, that fee buys the right of first refusal and all the standard equipment.
Now, the ideas. Obviously, these are all copyright 2010-2020, all rights reserved, by David J. Loehr.
Follow the Lady — A magician’s assistant has disappeared for real, Albert Einstein is dead, and a private eye discovers more than he’d bargained for. This script uses the famous card trick—or con game—of Three Card Monte to illustrate the interplay of classical physics and quantum mechanics against the backdrop of a traditional hard-boiled detective story set in the 1950s.
A Man More Dead — The last days of Christopher Marlowe told in flashback in the split second between the slash of a knife and the tip of that knife piercing Marlowe’s eye. Spies, intrigue, bar fights and poetry collide in the story of Marlowe’s “reckoning.” This is a highly theatrical piece, with worlds within worlds, plays within plays.
Improbable Fiction — When you’re watching a bedroom farce and someone hides in the closet or the bathroom, have you ever wondered what happens behind the door? More to the point, when you’re already in hiding, where do you hide anyone else? And what’s with the lady in the bathtub? This is a farce from the other side of that door. And yes, it requires a bathtub.
Things We Said Today — Two couples–one married, one just friends–redefine their relationships when a mutual friend passes away. Where and how those relationships wind up may surprise you as they try to map the roads not taken.
Ex Cathedra — While laser-mapping the interior and exterior of a crumbling gothic cathedral in France, an architectural historian catches a glimpse of the infinite and questions what he’s done with his life. His graduate assistant hints at a future while a French priest reminisces about the past. And the historian’s wife is none too happy with the present…
Hank Cinq — A tragic comedy of historic proportions. This is the story of a bedraggled regional theatre trying against all odds to put on a production of Shakespeare’s “Henry V.” Loves are won, labours are lost, budgets are cut. Will the show go on? Can you say, “We few, we happy few, we band of bothers? Brothers? Damnit.”
These are just six ideas waiting to come to life. I’ll be rotating ideas in and out of the shop from time to time, so check back every now and then.
And if you’re interested in commissioning any of these scripts, leave a note in the comments and I’ll be in touch.
(One more time for good measure, all of these concepts are copyright 2010-2020, all rights reserved, by David J. Loehr.)