The Dead Stage: A Journey From Page to Stage by Dan Weatherer
“The Dead Stage – the period of time between completing the working draft of a stage play and placing it with an interested party.” – Dan Weatherer
Dan Weatherer, an author turned playwright, learned quickly that there are practices playwrights can implement to dramatically increase the appeal of their work.
Inside, you’ll find advice that will enable you to better tailor your work to the needs of the theatre industry, without having to compromise on style, content or subject matter. Dan discusses his early mistakes, and presents the advice of notable theatre professionals including the award-winning playwright, Deborah McAndrew, noted actor Matthew Spence, and London Horror Festival producer, Kate Danbury (along with many, many more!).
You’ll also be able to read several of Dan’s completed stage plays, which are presented in a preferred industry format, and often contain side-notes detailing the success (and failures) of said pieces.
From budgets to set design, run-time to cast size, if you ever felt the desire to write for the stage, following the advice presented in this book will help improve your chances of pairing your script with an interested party, hopefully making The Dead Stage pass almost unnoticed.
Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.
Interview with the author:
What makes this non-fiction book so special?
“Placing a stage play with a theatre company is (in my experience) more difficult than placing a book with a publisher. Open theatre calls are highly competitive, seeing hundreds of entries for a call that can possibly stage only three or four pieces. Quality of work is no longer enough to guarantee consideration for performance.
The tips and advice contained in The Dead Stage allowed me to build an impressive portfolio of theatre work in a relatively short space of time. I believe it is important to share experiences if they may be able to help others achieve success.”
Tell us more about why you wanted to write this guide.
“Throughout my career, I have worked to create opportunities for others, believing it is better to be a small fish in a thriving ocean, rather than a big fish in a stagnant pond.
This book is about sharing my experiences and mistakes, in the hope that I can help others avoid the pitfalls that I fell into.
Theatre, more than any other medium, is a tough industry to break into. Every piece a playwright will write will always be in competition with work from the greatest playwrights of all time. Theatre is a business: seats need to be sold in order to keep theatres running, and so often established pieces are booked instead of the work of what many might term the ‘New Writing’. This is because they are considered safe bookings, and the theatre will, in most instances, not lose money. New writing is considered a risk. Usually, theatres set aside a budget for new writing, but this is often small and tightly contested.
But theatre needs new voices and there are theatre companies willing to give new writing a chance. This book is my way of saying that yes, it is possible to see your work performed on stage, no matter your previous experience in the theatre industry.”
If you have a passing interest in the theatre industry, either as a playwright, director, producer, actor or working behind the scenes, then this book is for you. It includes insights and advice from an array of professionals working at all levels of the industry today. Their advice helped me see my work performed on stage, now it’s their turn to help you.”