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Carl Sander

Good job Jim. I love the simplicity of this. Let the two producing partners and the six original writers work out the kinks. Artist Trust and 4/culture being likely supporting organizations, make application open statewide.

I’ll give $300 to the effort - $100 to the first theatre to give a clear yes, and an additional $100 to each of the two organizations who produce. If ten people or more match this commitment in the next 24 hours, Cathy and I will host a party for all the contributors this summer.

Let the games begin.

Jose' Amador

Looks pretty solid from this biased angle...

Tom Loughlin

I think committing the LORT house to do only one of these productions is letting them off too easy. Perhaps given that they are contributing to some of the costs associated with producing them at the fringe level, this is the best deal possible with the money available. But only one out of the six receiving a production seems weak. It should be two over the three years. My $0.02.

BTW - sorry not to contribute any money, but I have my own local scene to support.

Scot Augustson

Jim: Love it.
My one thought:
Could the Biggie commit to a local production without it being a Mainstage show?
What if it's a brilliant, quirky piece that might have a hard time pulling in the sheer numbers a mainstage show needs?
What if it's a beautiful, intimate show that would work better in the Poncho or one of ACT's smaller spaces? What if it would work wonderfully in some site-specific place?
I know it's just me, but I don't like the huge cavernous spaces.

Jim Jewell

Scot - I don't see why not. I think that is the kind of detail that should be worked out in each partnership, and with each playwright. Good thing to consider in the selection process, though. Which playwrights fit with which fringe and LORT houses.

Carl - I think WA-wide is a good goal, but right now I'm more concerned about the Seattle-based playwright than the Ellensburg- or Yakima-based playwright. I think as a whole, we need to be careful about taking on too much at once. The original SH!TSTORM happened because of very different feelings about the success of a panel discussion. I'm against ARTober because I don't think Live Theatre Week has gotten where it really needs to be yet. And, I'm for trying this city-local before we start state-local.

Tom - I don't think it is a small ask at all for the LORT house to give up one Mainstage (and, really, as Scot alludes to, that can mean any number of spaces, not necessarily the largest in a given house, as long as it is part of a regular season) production. In one of these discussions offline, I ran the number for a friend. A 99-seat fringe house doing a 4 week run of 5 shows a week, which strikes me as pretty average for the fringe, needs about 2000 people to sell out. That is less than a week at many LORT houses. They need to take in 5-10 times that many at least to make a run successful, meaning they need to reach people that the fringe house doesn't even have to remotely consider.

This isn't to preference one over the other, but the fact is the fringe has the ability to take risk and the LORT houses have big stages and broader reach. It is important to me to bring forward an idea that will work for both sides, and looking at then numbers, this seems an acceptable compromise.

Plus, it isn't just the end that is important. This is also three years of a LORT theatre and fringe theatre working collaboratively, and six local playwrights getting more access to LORT resources than they would otherwise have. The intangibles are at least as important at this stage as the final production.

All - I'm not chiming in to impose some authorial will on this idea, but because I really want this to be dialogue as we work on it. As I told Paul, this is an open source document - I'm just not done thinking or talking about it yet.

Thanks for the feedback so far and keep it coming, please. I think this can work.

Jose' Amador

Also wouldn't discount having the plays developed regardless of LORT production as a smaller benefit for the playwright's participation.

S.P. Miskowski

Jim, this is a big step in the right direction. I think this plan is challenging in a good way, and possible. My hat's off to you for designing this.

Louise Penberthy

It looks good at first reading.

You should add info that will help make it easy for advocates for this program to promote it within their organization. For example, the artistic director of the LORT theater will have to persuade the board. "Board" may be a dirty word, yes, but if you give the artistic director ammo for persuading the board, the program is more likely to be accepted.

Rob MacGregor

JJ...freaking genius.

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