Join Our Team!

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Playwrights and theater lovers! It has been and will continue to be our great privilege to help Northwest playwrights develop their work. We'd love to involve you more closely in the operation of the Salon as we evolve into a Playwrights' Center. The 2019 season, our third, features monthly staged readings, with imaginative directors and talented local actors. We are working towards offering interim steps in the development process in 2019 as well, including writers groups, classes, closed readings and individual meetings with directors and dramaturgs.

Now that the Salon is growing, we'd be thrilled to welcome a social media maven, a stage manager, and another usher. If you yourself are not available, please share this with friends, family, and theatre lovers in your life who are seeking closer involvement with performance art, and opportunities to build their collection of skills. Here's a brief job description of each and the time commitment.

Social Media Maven

Work under the guidance of a well respected community engagement professional to help build a vibrant community of playwrights.

  • Prepare blog posts for publishing

  • Create engaging multimedia content for Salon blog, Facebook page and Instagram account

  • Connect to and maintain relationships with Salon community partners, playwrights, directors and cast members via social media channels

  • Cross promote community partner events via social media channels

Time Commitment: 3-4 hours/month

Stage Manager

  • Assist the director in communicating with the cast regarding rehearsals and day of show information

  • Help obtain any props required

  • Ensure the director and cast have the latest scripts in digital form

  • Coordinate getting cast bios and photos to the Salon production manager

  • Attend rehearsals, set out snacks, and facilitate communication among cast, crew, and director

  • Attend performance and help set up the stage

Time Commitment: 10 hours/month

Usher (part of a team of three)

  • Greet each patron as they arrive

  • Process donations on the Salon’s Square app

  • Offer sign up on our email list

  • Distribute programs, find seating for late arrivals, answer questions about the Salon

Time commitment: 6:30-9:30 pm on the 4th Thursday of every month in Georgetown

As a volunteer you will have the gratitude of not only the Salon's ever-expanding playwright community, and the Salon's artistic and management team, but also of arts patrons. And we are a fun team to work with! Please send a note to seattleplaywrightssalon@gmail.com if you’re interested in volunteering.

The Salon's 2019 Season Announced!

Fireworks by Adam Carter

Fireworks by Adam Carter

We are thrilled to announce the first eight shows of our 2019 season! Join us at The Palace Theatre and Art Bar on the fourth Thursday of each month and support vibrant local art.

January 24 - The Lost Virginity Tour by Cricket Daniel
Happy Trails Senior Resort Living in Surprise, AZ is where the ladies of the Happy Trails Baking Club meet weekly, swapping desserts and recipes. But when these four friends start swapping stories about their “first time”, one of them bakes up an idea: to take a road trip across the country, revisiting each location where they lost their virginities. Tears, laughter, memories and secrets are all revealed as each lady shares the details about their first time.

February 28 - Weather the Storm by Anna MacAlpine
The Caribbean, 1720. When Anne Bonny and Mary Read meet aboard the ship of Captain Jack Rackham, they find themselves inexplicably drawn together. But the world of the black flag is violent and unforgiving, and pirates are hunted and executed throughout the Caribbean. Soon, Anne, Mary and the crew are forced to question the very essence of who they are and what they are willing to sacrifice in the name of survival.

March 28 - The Future's So Bright by Michael Mendiola
MARTI is trapped in an Off-Off-Broadway theater and is certain that solving the equation for predicting prime numbers is the key to his freedom. That, and to understanding random events. All random events. Unfortunately, solving this equation requires help from his like-minded companions—an agoraphobic theater tech and a secluded mathematician—both of whom are in danger of succumbing to the most random event of all: falling in love.

April 25 - Florence Fane in San Francisco by Brianna Barrett
A Civil War Era romantic comedy about the San Francisco publishing industry starring a cast of literary titans including Frances Fuller Victor, Bret Harte, Mark Twain, and all their pals. The history of the west is forever changed when a peculiar young woman enters the Lick House Hotel Saloon, headquarters of the city's most popular weekly newspaper: The Golden Era...

May 23 - One Thing by Scott Stolnack
Three estranged siblings return to their childhood home in Chicago to bury their father, settle old scores, and confront old ghosts. Sally wants to do the right thing, but her view on “the right thing” changes after discovering the adoption papers from the child she gave birth to when she was 17. Tony, charismatic and movie-star handsome, needs money to finance his political ambitions. Bobby is just along for the ride while Trisha, Bobby’s girlfriend, is a little mesmerized by Tony. And the Old Man is still very much a presence in their lives. The play asks the question, “Can we escape our family karma?”

June 27 - A Collection of Shorts (TBA)

July 25 - Fur Pajamas the musical by John Allman and David Ceci
Nigel is an aging British rocker whose music career peaked in the ‘80s with his New Wave one-hit wonder band, Fur Pajamas. For a number of reasons, Nigel is desperate to regain fame and fortune. Along the way, he runs into several people from his past – Peter, a resentful ex- band mate; Eva Jean, an ex-wife who has moved on; and Claudia, an ex-girlfriend who hasn’t. Working together with Andi, his young and inexperienced agent, will Nigel be able to reconcile with his past as he tries to ‘make it big again?’

August 22 - Some Come, Some Go by Norbert Sorg
Nick's excelling in his dream New York City career, he’s got a loving girlfriend, and he’s just moved in to his first apartment in the Big Apple. It’s pristine, carefully curated, and all his. What could be better? His mother has plenty of ideas. When she comes to visit, expectations explode like land mines. Will the fallout bring down the house? 

We want to thank everyone that took the time to share their work--we were pleasantly overwhelmed with the magnitude of talent we saw in the submissions. The remaining shows of the season will be announced soon, so stay tuned!

Playwrights Binge!

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Patrick Gabridge, a prolific, award-winning, and much produced Boston playwright, founded the online Playwrights’ Submission Binge, and is the co-founder and coordinator of the New England New Play Alliance, the Dramatists’ Guild New England Regional Representative, and the producing artistic director of Plays in Place. The Salon’s Artistic Director, Margaret O’Donnell, interviewed Patrick to learn more about the Binge.

Salon: What is the Binge?

Patrick Gabridge (PG): The Binge is an online community focused on marketing for playwrights. It started small, but it's grown to almost 1,100 members.

Salon: Why did you develop it? And when?

PG: I wanted a way to make my marketing chores more fun. So back in 2003, I set up a group with about a dozen fellow playwrights. The idea was to take the challenge of sending out a play a day, every day, for 30 days. Each person was to report back to the group what they sent, where, and why. It was a way to make a game out of it, and to build in a sense of accountability. It ended up working great, so we did it again. Now we do it twice a year, every March and September. It's a great way to share information and to build positive habits for yourself. It's also an incredibly supportive on-line community for playwrights.

Salon: Does it fill a gap in submission how-to for playwrights? If so, what?

PG: Because people are sharing a lot of information, it's a great way to stay informed about what opportunities are out there. And it's free. It's also a good place to turn if you have marketing related questions.

Salon: How do playwrights use it?

PG: They just join the Yahoo group. (The platform may change in the near future, to make it even easier to join.) Once they're on, they'll receive e-mails from the list. In the Binge months (March and September), they can take up the challenge and participate in the marketing frenzy. Or not. Lots of people are lurkers, and just kind of observe from a distance. It's low pressure. The site is at: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/playwrightbinge/info

Salon: What are your best tips for benefiting from the Binge?

PG: Try to meet the challenge. Send out a script a day every day for 30 days in March and September. If you do, you'll have made 60 submissions for the year. The odds are low for any submission to succeed, so numbers matter. If you don't submit your work, it's hard for it to get produced, especially if you're not already well-connected.

Salon: Have there been unexpected consequences of the Binge? Serendipitous coincidences and connections?

PG: I think sometimes theatres are surprised when they get a sudden wave of submissions after they've been mentioned by someone on the list. Many friendships have developed on the group, and we had a great in-person gathering at the Dramatists Guild National Conference in July. I've certainly gotten lots of opportunities from submissions I've sent, and relationships I've formed on the Binge. I've made two trips to South Korea for productions of my work directly due to Binge friends recommending me for an opportunity. It really does work.

Salon: How has the Binge evolved since you first developed it?

PG: There are a lot more people involved, that's for sure. It's a little more active year-round, and I think people are even more generous than when we began about sharing opportunities. There's so much information available online now, as compared to 15 years ago, and our members are great about gathering that info and sharing it with the group.

Salon: What are your plans for the Binge? Are others involved?

PG: I'm hoping we'll shift to a more user-friendly platform, in early 2019. I just need to find a window of time to do it. This is something that can run simply and cheaply, so it's really just me handling the operations of the group. But it's everyone working together that makes it an actual active and supportive community--that's all due to the generosity and passion and energy of our member playwrights. Their spirit has made the Binge a very special community.

Binge group at 2018 Dramatist’s Guild conference

Binge group at 2018 Dramatist’s Guild conference

2018 Year of Parity at Seattle Playwrights Salon: Lessons Learned

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In a bit, I’ll tell you how many scripts the Salon received in the first fifteen months of operation that were written by women and female-identifying playwrights. But first, some context.  Playwrights Kate Danley and Margaret O’Donnell started up the Salon in October 2016 to give new and emerging playwrights script development opportunities. After doing table reads and closed readings, seeing your work performed in front of a public audience is a critical next step. The Salon presents staged readings on the fourth Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the marvelously atmospheric Palace Theatre and Art Bar in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. We invite the public, provide well-rehearsed actors and an excellent director, and conduct a talk back, all with the goal of giving playwrights what they need to move forward with their work in development.

From August 2016 through December 2017, we invited any playwright in the state to submit to us full-length scripts or enough short plays to make up an evening. Ready for the number of plays written by women and female-identifying playwrights? Zero. That’s how many sent in their scripts based on our widely distributed submission calls. That doesn’t mean we didn’t produce plays by women in our first fifteen months. We did. But we had to reach out individually to each one of those women, and encourage them to submit. We heard from women about their fears of not being ready, not being good enough, not knowing how to work with a director, and not knowing what to do if the audience doesn’t like the play. 

The women’s scripts were every bit as good on average as those submitted by men. Our experience in those first fifteen months brought home what we knew only anecdotally before: that many women submit their scripts only when they believe they are perfect. But we weren’t prepared for zero submissions from women. So, to see if more encouragement and outreach would bring us the good scripts we know are out there, we launched our Year of Parity for the 2018 season, and began specifically soliciting scripts from women and female-identifying playwrights.

We worked harder than we ever thought to find women to submit their scripts, even more than our first fifteen months worth of experience predicted. We had excellent scripts for our first five months – we produced staged readings of four full-length plays, and staged seven 10-minute plays for our April Shorts competition. Of these, at least two have gone on to world-premiere productions. But a June script was hard to find, and our July Shorts competition had so few submissions that we had to cancel the event. We came up dry and short. With grace and style, Parley, a Seattle playwrights’ collective, stepped up to produce staged readings at the Palace Theatre and Art Bar in July and August. 

We spent the summer re-thinking and planning the Salon’s future, and decided to accept scripts from any playwright for our 2019 season. We also opened up our submission process to any northwestern United States and British Columbia playwright. We are thrilled with the quality of plays we received—more than half of which written by women and female-identifying playwrights.

We won’t give up encouraging women and female-identifying playwrights to submit their work to the Salon. We’re working on plans to bring more resources and classes to playwrights, and help make connections among us, in addition to producing staged readings. Our central aim is to give playwrights the resources we need to shine! 

— Margaret O’Donnell, Artistic Director