About Quotes on Craft
'White male playwrights' works continue to dominate production slates. Sometimes it seems easier for them to have the texts of their driver's licenses produced than for the female or non-white playwright to have her best play produced. The reality is, they are more often given that all-important opportunity to fail than the women's play or ethnic play.'
-- Velina Hasu Houston
Quotes on Craft head about 190 pages of The Playwriting Seminars. Most of these quoted folks are playwrights, but about 25% are ringers: writers, directors, producers, and others primarily or exclusively associated with the film and television industry; visual artists [sculptors and print-makers] and designers; novelists and poets.
The full list by name within The Seminars is in Playwrights Quoted in The Seminars; the full list in The Archive is in Playwrights Quoted in The Archive.
When you want more of these quotes . . .
An increasing number of contemporary playwrights are teaching the craft. Writing and working professionally makes a good -- and very practical -- teacher. Among those doing this now are Charles Fuller, Edward Albee, Derek Walcott, Lanford Wilson, Marsha Norman, John Guare, Paula Vogel, Romulus Liney, and Velina Hasu Houston. And at various times, they've been joined in this avocation by Mac Wellman, María Irene Fornés, Sam Shepard, Murry Mednick, Athol Fugard, Terrence McNally, Jon Robin Baitz, Christopher Durang, Jean-Claude van Itallie, Ntozake Shange . . .
Some good published collections of extended interviews with contemporary playwrights on craft, influences, and the business . . .
- In Their Own Words, David Savran
The best collection of contemporary US playwrights talking about what they do and how they do it.
- The Work: Conversations with English-Canadian Playwrights, Robert Wallace & Cynthia Zimmerman
Emphasizes playwrights working with theatre collectives in the 1970's.
- Playwrights on Playwriting, Toby Cole
The old war-horse of the genre: Mostly dead Europeans, but they knew what they were doing.
- American Playwrights on Drama, Horst Frenz
Edward Albee's the most recent, but the rest knew what they were doing, too.
- Screenwriters on Screenwriting, Joel Engel
A mix of US playwrights who've worked in film and Hollywood types discussing the work itself and often the adjustment from stage to screen.
- The Playwright's Voice, David Savran
Interviews with 15 US playwrights on their creative process, critics, and the state of the theatre, including Edward Albee, Jon Robin Baitz, Tony Kushner, Nicky Silver, Paula Vogel, Wendy Wasserstein, Mac Wellman, and George C. Wolfe.
About Velina Hasu Houston's admonition: Playwriting is still a particularly wide-open field for women. This is one of the few areas among all the arts where talent matters more than gender. At least in getting that first wave of recognition.
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