Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Damian Fowler on the plight of the young American playwright | Theatre story | Guardian Unlimited Arts:

This is a disastrous showing for US dramatists. The last generation of great American playwrights included writers like David Mamet, David Rabe and Sam Shepard. The more recent crop of well-known names is more likely to have moved into television or Hollywood, following a hit on Broadway. Such names include Neil LaBute, Kenneth Lonergan, Stephen Adly Guirgis and Suzan Lori-Parks. And why not? Given the choice between a $5,000 advance for a Broadway play and $1.5m for a screenplay, what would you do? The choice really is that stark. "The plight of the American playwright is very serious," says Breglio. "Producers certainly don't want to take a high risk on a new playwright."

However, in a strange transatlantic calculation, the chances of a British or Irish play making it on Broadway are seemingly greater than their US equivalents.

12:15 AM