Life as a Playwright - A Survival Guide

Life as a Playwright - A Survival Guide $25.99

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Jon Klein

Published by Methuen

Addressing the questions central to any playwright's career and identity, Jon Klein offers you a glimpse into a career writing for the theatre

As well as an account of the day-to-day life of a writer, he also discusses what an aspiring playwright should expect as they navigate the industry and how to make yourself stand out from the crowd

Furthermore, the book looks at situations that the emerging playwright is likely to encounter, including: handling rehearsals, workshops, castings, re-writing, venues, reviews, successes and failure

The book concludes with seventeen interviews with other USA-based playwrights, representing a wide range of experience - from writers just starting to make a name for themselves to seasoned, award-winning veterans such as Sheila Callaghan, Steven Dietz, Keith Glover, Lauren Gunderson, John Pielmeier and Jen Silverman.

Klein has a wealth of experience with over 30 of his plays produced in the USA and over 100 productions, including include T Bone N Weasel, Dimly Perceived Threats to the System, Betty the Yeti, and his most recent play, Resolving Hedda

He draws upon the lessons he has learned from his associations with numerous established theatre folk, many from the start of their careers

These include figures such as Bob Falls, Gregory Hines, Jon Jory, Kenny Leon, Dan Sullivan, and August Wilson


1. What is a Playwright's Life Like?
2. What Makes You Want to Do It?
3. When Do You Call Yourself a Playwright?
4. How Do You Earn a Living?
5. What Happens When Your Play's a Hit?
6. What Happens When Your Play's a Flop?
7. How Do You Bounce Back?
8. What's Luck Got To Do With It?
9. Can a Playwright Make Bad Decisions?
10. Does Controversy Help or Hurt a Play?
11. How the #$%@! Can I Get Someone to Read My Play?
12. How Do I Find the Right Opportunities?
13. Anything Else?


Other Playwrights Have Their Turn

Contributions by Allyson Currin, Steven Dietz, Robert Freedman, Gary Garrison, Keith Glover, Chad Henry, John Olive, John Pielmeier and Y York


"Jon Klein is an amazing playwright, but more importantly he is a unique and extraordinary artist who's pursuit of artistic excellence through the craft of writing can serve as a useful tool to the benefit of artists and students. His wealth of knowledge and skill when it comes to writing is not to be debated. He has truly lived a full life as a successful playwright" ~ Kenny Leon, Tony-award winning director

"Jon Klein has had a long, successful career as a working playwright and a dedicated professor. I can think of no one better to share his insight and experience. I certainly wish I had a book like this when I started out!" ~ Robert L. Freedman, screenwriter and dramatist

"I wish I could have read Jon Klein's [book] when I was starting out. Jon uses examples from his own successful career as a dramatist to highlight the skills and fortitude necessary to navigate a life in the theater. This is a book on play writing written by someone who's been in the trenches" ~ Jeffrey Hatcher, playwright and screenwriter

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