NPX Recommend-a-thon: Setpember 2023
The Advocacy Committee kicked off its first New Play Exchange (NPX) Recommend-a-Thon on September 21, 2023. We were a small but mighty group! Of the 24 registrants for the event, 15 folx joined in this working session. While there were moments of social connection and conversation, the bulk of the time was spent working individually alongside supportive colleagues. Tatiana Godfrey, who participated in the Searchers and Browsers Room, expressed appreciation for a co-work session allowing for focus on specific tasks related to NPX.
After opening introductions, LMDA President Lynde Rosario shared some best practices, reminding recommenders that playwriting is an incredibly vulnerable activity. While it may seem that all reviews are good reviews, Rosario noted that brevity might actually be counter-productive, leaving a playwright wondering what precisely was impactful. Rather, dramaturgs should approach recommendation-writing with an appropriate level of care, being sure to provide specific feedback about the work. While a review need not be exhaustive, detailed writing will allow playwrights to see what in the work a reader connects with. Gwydion Suilebhan also shared a playwright’s perspective, noting that NPX is designed to be an “engine of generosity” within a field that is often determined by scarcity. A positive, meaningful recommendation recognizes the solitary labor of the playwright and allows for artistic seeds to bloom.
Mieko Ouchi, a participant in the Introductory Room, was able to get her own account set up and to set up an account for her organization, Citadel Theatre. Other participants learned how to set up their accounts and utilize the search options effectively. This hands-on space worked really well to share information and allow everyone to gain familiarity with the site.
The Searchers and Browsers group focused on a variety of different tasks, including creating lists of different plays to read, perusing titles of different lengths, writing reviews, and taking the time to curate their own profile pages. Elliot Folds recommended two plays, Rachael Powles recommended two and plans to write two more, and Sam Baird recommended four short monologues. Tatiana Godfrey wowed us all with her impressive spreadsheets that she was able to update while also reading and recommending!
The Recommenders Room had three participants, with MVP Ally Varitek completing eight recommendations of short plays. Dan Smith and John Medlin each wrote recommendations for four plays. (And Dan realized he had already recommended one play on his list, so we’re counting that one, too!)
We will be sending out a survey to the participants so that we can continue to develop and refine the Recommend-a-Thon! We appreciate detailed feedback about how it might continue to grow while keeping its focus on being a working session dedicated to generating meaningful recommendations that uplift the work of NPX playwrights.
Our Next NPX Recommend-a-Thon working session is scheduled for December 20, 2023, 12:00 - 2:00 EST (a day before the solstice, we know - we figured a Wednesday session would be more feasible during the busy holiday travel season). Save the date! And a huge thank you to everyone who participated!
List of Plays Recommended by Participants:
Click any show title to view its NPX page.
- Jonathan Acosta, An Absence in Writing
- Genevieve Adams, The Boat Show
- Brent Alles, Sir Jay and Sir Kay Versus the Fearsome Dragon
- Lawrence Aronovich, The Auden Test
- Darius Buckley, 18
- RubenCarbajal, 20 Questions: a found monologue
- Inda Craig-Galvan,The Great Jheri Curl Debate
- Len Cuthbert, Off the Edge
- PhilipDawkins, The Gentleman Caller
- Josh Downing, The Wedding
- S.Drake, Loretta’s Crematorium Hour
- Lisa Sanaye Dring, Kairos
- Aeneas Sagar Hemphill, A Wake at Singh’s
- Daniel Hirsch, Human Resources
- Kristin Idaszak, Strange Heart Beating
- Jacob Juntunen, No Winter, No Worries
- Brenton Kniess, Melt(ten-minute version)
- Jennifer Kokai and Oliver Kokai-Means, Zombie Thoughts
- Melissa Leilani Larson, Persuasion (adapted from Jane Austen)
- Anterior Leverett, Yanni Stone & The Honeypot Trap
- John Mabey, Of Night Shadows
- Melissa Milich, Human Remains
- Rebecca Anne Nguyen, Hypotheticals
- Roni Ragone, My Barricade
- JuanRamirez, Jr., American Culture
- Lauren Smerkanich, Halloween
- They & Them, The Velociraptor’s Very Good Day
- Mallory Jane Weiss, Drawbridge
- Elise Wien, Freestyle Hand Entry
- Carolynne Wilcox, Afterthoughts