BAT is reading scripts for 2018-19. This is a fun time because, right now, BAT’s season could be anything. Literally anything. As BAT begins the narrow things down, the season will come into focus.
To make a good season, BAT often has to chase down scripts. This is how BAT has gotten to know a number of playwrights and their agents. Some of these relationships have lasted, and others have not. But either way, dealing with an author or an agent is almost always more fun than dealing with a big script publishing house. To the publishing house, BAT is just someone at the end of an online royalties form. With an author or agent, BAT has a face.
Right now, BAT is chasing down a script from London. This chase may not turn into something because the rights may not be available in the US, but sometimes they are. Once the foreign show is done by a US professional house, even just once, it may be available to smaller theaters like BAT. So, it is possible, if BAT finds the right person to talk to, that the show might be available.
This chase has been frustrating, but as it turns out fun.
First, none of BAT’s usual sources have turned up a US agent. BAT has found the London agent, but they cannot help. They do not control the rights outside of England.
Then there was someone who appeared to be the US agent. But they do not control the rights to the show BAT is after. Then there is was a publishing house. They were of no help. Again, BAT is just a name at the end of the royalties request form to them.
But here is where this gets fun. BAT’s search came up with what appeared to be the playwright’s personal email address. A late night email brought this reply within minutes:
Thanks a lot for your email, how lovely. I have cc’d XXXXX and XXXX who will be able to help with this.
Hope this works out.
What a sweet reply from a very busy playwright, but it gets better. BAT emailed a thank you back almost right way. It got this reply:
I am out of the country at the moment and I will check emails only sporadically until 21st of December.
My apologies if it takes longer for me to reply.
What BAT figures is that it hit the perfect moment to get a reply from the playwright, with a cc to her agents, before the playwright was off the grid for a few weeks.
We’ll have to see if the playwright’s agents can help or not. But at least the chase has been fun.