The blacklist, founded in Hollywood, extends to the theater
The Blacklist, an effort to boost the careers of unknown writers by bringing attention to high-quality unproduced scripts, was created 17 years ago with a focus on Hollywood. Now the organization is looking to expand its work to the theatre.
The project’s management announced on Tuesday that it will begin inviting playwrights and music writers to share their work with gatekeepers from the theatre, film and television industries, with the aim of helping them find representation, gaining commentary and producing productions in the world of theater or jobs in the world of film and television.
Four well-known nonprofit theaters, Miami New Drama in Florida, the Movement Theater Company in New York, Victory Gardens in Chicago and Woolly Mammoth in Washington, have each agreed to commission a new play or musical from a writer whose work makes surface through the project. . Commissions are $10,000 each.
“Our fundamental belief is that there are many incredible playwrights whose opportunities don’t match their talents,” said Franklin Leonard, who founded the blacklist. “If we can rectify that, that’s something we should do.”
The Blacklist began as an annual survey of scripts Hollywood executives loved but hadn’t made into movies, and the organization says 440 of those scripts have since been produced. Then the blacklist added a for-profit branch that allows writers to post scripts online to bring them to the attention of industry professionals, and also allows writers, for a fee, to request script reviews to readers who work in the industry. (Ratings cost $100, of which $60 goes to the reader.)
Leonard said he and Megan Halpern, the blacklist executive leading theater expansion, had been talking to theater industry leaders for months about expanding the reach of the blacklisted, with the aim of helping undiscovered playwrights and musical theater writers find work in theatre. and, possibly, also in the cinema or on television.
“What we’ve heard is that people want to find new playwrights, but the reality of wading through slush is insurmountable,” he said.