Vote for Wolf!
by Walter Vail
posted: 2011-10-08 21:13:20
With the rent for space at The Wolf Building down from $800 to $250 per month (Amazing! How?) I am urging those WC attendees who voted against locating there to change their vote to YES. We have had a great tenure at CEC, but the future of PDC must take priority. PDC must be allowed to grow for the sake of our younger members and future member playwrights in Philly. We need our organization to represent all of us in the Philly Theatre Community if we are to be recognized as serious writers.
Yes, each playwright is always on his/her own in terms of acquiring skill in the craft--each playwright competes with all others, including thousands of dead playwrights when it comes to finding a theatre and a production--but in unity we gain stature, in unity we learn, in unity we teach each other. Some playwrights love collaboration, some love to go it alone--all of us need an organization.
I am in the 84th year of my life and am an active playwright. My plays are being produced, and I continue to write new plays each day, each month, each year. I hope you all will be as fortunate as I have been in playwriting. I love to write plays, and I've worked with young playwrights for many, many years. I look to the future for all of our talented writers, young and older. The only difference among us is that some like myself have lived through decades of history. I saw Laurette Taylor play Amanda in the original production of THE GLASS MENAGERIE. I bought the first printed edition of WAITING FOR GODOT. I was two years old when the market crashed in 1929, and I starved my way through the Great Depression of the thirties. I learned most of what I know about playwriting from Arthur Miller's work. And from Ibsen, O'Neill, Williams, and others. I acted and sang the role of Mr. Peachum in THREEPENNY OPERA at Society Hill Playhouse in the play's first Philly production. Etc., etc., etc.
I look to the future of PDC, the growth of PDC--we should vote to make the move to The Wolf Building and hold Writers Circle there and do more of the things we all want to do: table readings, staged readings, talkbacks that help all of us with our work. Not productions--theatres do productions--playwrights organizations support the growth of playwrights and plays.
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Don Drake said on 2011-10-09:
Once again I have to agree with Walt. If we pass up this opportunity, we might not get another one. For years we have been talking about finding a home and nothing has come from the talk until now. I don’t know if the PDC could afford to make the move if it had to pay for both Wolf and CEC, if we didn’t move Circle. So Circle’s decision on what to do could have far reaching consequences. I think many of the concerns voiced at the last Circle meeting are worrisome, but not enough for us to pass up this opportunity. It’s quite possible that Wolf will become an important performing arts center and if it does it would be a shame not to be part of it. If it doesn’t work out, we can always go back to CEC.
Bill Hollenbach said on 2011-10-09:
This is a great description of what the role of PDC should be in all of our creative lives. We work hard. We have ambitions. Sometimes we get productions, but always we create our work alone. But as all attendees at the Writers Circle know, it is from the collective input of other artists that our work and our creative selves grow. As Walt points out we all have had various degrees of success. We are all of different ages, but we all strive for the same common goal: the creation of theatre pieces that reflect our vision that will come to life for others. A home in the Wolf Building will offer us a chance for greater exposure for our work in its developmental stages. We will have a home for others to hear our work -- at the Writers Circle, at Writers Table, in full readings. Now we usually get the productive feedback of our fellow playwrights in PDC and our friends. With a move to the Wolf we will gain a visibility that may bring in other theatre artists in the city. New voices with new eyes and ears. With luck we may all grow to achieve at least a small amount of the success Walt has seen.