Plays well with others

Suffer the little childrenA couple of guys I know were doing a playwright the favor of producing his unpublished (and thus far unproduced) two-man show. But as it turns out, the playwright wasn’t interested in developing his work, only in hearing his words spoken exactly as he’d written them. The production has been cancelled.

A strong finalist in last year’s New Play Festival competition copped a similar take-it-or-leave-it attitude with members of the festival’s core committee before a winner was chosen. He’d flown here from the West Coast at his own expense. He flew back empty-handed.

I’ve been surprised and disappointed by the self-defeating arrogance some playwrights bring to the creative process. Granted, the playwright’s is a solitary art form, while theater is anything but. And there’s an irony in this, as well as a difficult transition the playwright must make from cloister to collaboration. There is not, however, an excuse in it for being a snot.