in my humble opinion

Writing Group - Playwrights and Actors Wanted

On a completely different kind of recruiting note...

I'm part of a writing group that's been ongoing now for a number of years. And we've gotten to a place where we need some new blood. We also can always use actors who like new plays who would like to come in and help us read. So I thought this might be a place to put the word out.

It's pretty informal. We meet every other Tuesday night, 7pm in one another's homes. There are snacks involved, but nothing elaborate.

We meet to read whatever anyone's working on at the moment. Could be scenes, could be an act, could be an entire draft. We also have the host of the week throw out a writing challenge, just in case people want to sharpen their teeth (or pencils, or keyboards?) on something random, or use it to help jumpstart them past writer's block. We invite actor friends in to help us read (hence the call for actors as well as writers). All are welcome to offer constructive feedback - it's neither supposed to be a lovefest nor a feeding frenzy. We're here to get better, but also to support one another. The idea is to get better collectively, rather than at one another's expense. It's not a place for fragile egos or manufactured personal drama (drama on the page only, please). We've been through those phases and would like to avoid them in the future.

Things are going pretty well with the group, but a number of members are involved in their own major projects right now (everything from freelancing to self-producing to running their own theater companies) and so the ranks of regular attendees have been getting a bit thin. It's always best if we have a regular core of six or seven to keep the material flowing and the feedback varied.

When we last went hunting for new members, we codified some rules of the road we thought were important that could help us communicate who we were to potential joiners. That'd be the following...

Tuesday Group Manifesto

Six Things We Consider Important About The Group and How It Runs

-Tuesday Group will invite actors to attend meetings and read most roles. Matthew will be the point dude for inviting actors, but all members should feel free to invite actors if they want someone specific to read.

-Tuesday Group is and will remain a group of playwrights. While the focus is on writing plays, members may bring any work that can be performed. Long pieces of prose are not appropriate.

-Tuesday Group members will aim to bring work to every meeting they can attend. Group members who are not pursuing individual projects will do a homework exercise, designed by the host of the next meeting. Group members are, however, not to waste any time beating themselves up if they cannot always meet this goal.

-Tuesday Group will hold to the Roundtable guidelines for feedback, by beginning the discussion with positive remarks and moving on to offer constructive, specific criticism.

-Tuesday Group will recruit new members on a mentor system. If you have a candidate for a new group member, after ascertaining the candidate's interest, check in with the group about the person. If the group agrees, bring the new person to a meeting and be willing to serve as their guide.

-Tuesday Group is about supporting each other in our growth as writers. We want to be, and recruit, writers who can learn from each other's work, and who do work that is inspiring.

Discussed and Adopted September 2005

(up for review and revision as needed)

We break for the summer because most of us are involved in the Fringe Festival in one manner or another. We do have one last meeting this Tuesday 5/27 before the break, so if you're reading this prior to that and would be curious to sit in, let me know.

My spam filter's kind of wonky, so it might be a good idea to send to

and copy to

just to be safe.

After the summer break, we start right up again in September, so if you're interested, I can keep you posted on how that calendar shapes up. Just gives us a bit of a breather to recover from the Fringe, but then we're back at it.

Like I said, interested writers and actors alike are welcome to respond.

The idea is to get regular attendees cranking out new work and being willing to take and offer feedback.

© Matthew A Everett