Writers Get Free Access to Theatre with Samuel French's New 'Playwrights Welcome' Program

By: Oct. 17, 2016
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The launch of Playwrights Welcome, a new program developed for Dramatists Guild of America members by Samuel French along with Dramatists Play Service, Dramatic Publishing, Music Theatre International, Playscripts, The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization and participating theaters, was announced today.

The goal of Playwrights Welcome is simple: to provide free access to theatre for playwrights, composers and lyricists. Knowing that attending theatre is an integral part to how writers learn their craft and grow as artists, the new initiative invests in the success and artistic health of our industry's writers, and by extension the vibrancy of the American theatre.

Playwrights Welcome is designed to offer available tickets that would otherwise go unsold to Dramatist Guild playwrights on the day of the performance, free of charge. Samuel French and all other publishers firmly believe that no theatre should give away a ticket that could otherwise be sold.

Early adopter theatre companies participating in the Playwrights Welcome program include:


Atlantic Theater Company (NYC)

Berkeley Repertory Theatre (Berkeley, CA)

Center Stage (Baltimore, MD)

Dallas Theater Center (Dallas, TX)

Ford's Theatre (Washington, D.C.)

Geffen Playhouse (Los Angeles, CA)

Goodman Theater (Chicago, IL)

Hartford Stage (Hartford, CT)

Huntington Theatre Company (Boston, MA)

Intiman Theatre (Seattle, WA)

La Jolla Playhouse (La Jolla, CA)

McCarter Theatre (Princeton, NJ)

Paramount Theatre (Aurora, IL)

Portland Center Stage (Portland, OR)

Roundabout Theater Company (NYC)

Shakespeare Theatre Company (Washington, DC)

Seattle Repertory Theatre (Seattle, WA)

Signature Theatre (Arlington, VA)

Theatre Under the Stars (Houston, TX)

Vineyard Theatre (NYC)

Yale Repertory Theatre (New Haven, CT)

"Every piece of theatre begins with a spark of imagination in a playwright's mind," says Bruce Lazarus, Executive Director, Samuel French. "They stare down the blank page, writing, rewriting and rewriting until it has been shaped into an impactful piece of art. Without their initial creativity and devotion, this art form that we love so dearly would simply not exist. Playwrights Welcome is a new program that allows writers to stand on the shoulders of their contemporaries, learn their craft, and be inspired."

"It's a perverse truth, but many of the dramatists who fill the nation's stages with vibrant, indispensable new work can't afford the high price of theatre tickets themselves" says Doug Wright, President, Dramatists Guild of America. "Thanks to Playwrights Welcome, that situation is changing. The Dramatists Guild is thrilled that playwrights, composers, lyricists and librettists will soon be able to stay current with the work of their peers, and learn from the masters. It's a huge step toward ensuring the vitality of our profession."

The Playwrights Welcome Council includes a list of some the theatre industry's most celebrated artists and professionals who are in support and endorse the program. Council Members include playwrights Kia Corthron (A Cool Dip in the Barren Saharan Crick), Lydia Diamond (Stick Fly), Kristoffer Diaz(The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity), Colman Domingo (Dot), Madeleine George (The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence), Rebecca Gilman (Boy Gets Girl), Branden Jacobs-Jenkins(Gloria), Christine Toy Johnson (The Secret Wisdom of Trees), Aditi Kapil (Love Person), Lisa Kron (Fun Home), Mike Lew (Bike America), David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole), Dominique Dominique Morisseau (Detroit '67), Qui Nguyen (Vietgone), Marsha Norman ('night, Mother, TheSecret Garden; President & Founder, The Lilly Awards), Sarah Ruhl (Stage Kiss), Robert Schenkkan (All the Way), Madhuri Shekar (In Love and Warcraft), Octavio Solis (El Paso Blues), Doug Wright (Hands on a Hardbody, I Am My Own Wife) and Lauren Yee (Hatmaker's Wife); composers Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime), Andrew Lippa (Wild Party), Georgia Stitt (Big Red Sun), Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home); and industry leaders Ken Davenport (Davenport Theatricals), Sean Patrick Flahaven (Senior Vice President of Theatre and Catalog Development, Warner/Chappell Music), Gary Garrison (Executive Director, Dramatists Guild), Todd Haimes (Artistic Director, Roundabout Theatre), Todd London (Author, Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play), Emily Mann (Artistic Director & Resident Playwright, McCarter Theatre), Daryl Roth(Daryl Roth Productions), Tom Schumacher (Disney Theatricals), Tim Shields (Managing Director, McCarter Theatre), and Jim Steinberg (Steinberg Foundation).

Playwrights Welcome is supported by Theatre Communications Group. To learn more about Playwrights Welcome or to add the program to your theater, visit www.SamuelFrench.com/PlaywrightsWelcome.

Since its inception in 1912, The Dramatists Guild of America has been the professional association for playwrights, librettists, lyricists and composers writing for the American stage. With over 7,000 members around the world, the Guild is guided by a governing council of writers who each give their time, interest and support to advance the rights of dramatists everywhere, including the right for dramatists to own and control their own copyrighted work. The Guild's advocacy, programs, events, publications and other services provide dramatists with the resources, the community and the support they require to protect their property, their livelihoods, and their unique voices in the American Theater.

Samuel French is the world's leading publisher and licensor of plays and musicals. The company's catalog features some of the most acclaimed work ever written for the stage and titles by writers at the forefront of contemporary drama. Samuel French is proud to have served as a leader in theatrical publishing and licensing for over 180 years and is committed to the future by championing for playwrights, innovating the industry, and celebrating all those who make theatre around the world. For more information about Samuel French visit www.SamuelFrench.com.