An attempt to boost the careers of undiscovered writers by drawing attention to high-quality unproduced scripts, The Black List was founded 17 years ago with a focus on Hollywood. Now the organization wants to expand its work to theatre.
The project’s leadership announced Tuesday that it would invite playwrights and music writers to share their work with gatekeepers in the theater, film and television industries, with the goal of helping them find representation, get feedback and land productions in the theater world or jobs in the film and television world.
Four renowned non-profit theaters, Florida’s Miami New Drama, New York’s Movement Theater Company, Chicago’s Victory Gardens, and Washington’s Woolly Mammoth, have each agreed to commission a new play or musical from a writer whose work has been the project emerges. . The commissions are $10,000 each.
“Our fundamental belief is that there are many great playwrights whose opportunities do not match their talents,” said Franklin Leonard, who founded the Black List. “If we can rectify that, we should.”
The Black List began as an annual survey of scripts Hollywood executives liked but hadn’t turned into movies, and the organization says 440 of those scripts have been produced since then. The Black List then added a for-profit branch that allows writers to post scripts online to bring them to the attention of industry professionals, and allows writers, for a fee, to request script reviews from readers who work in the industry. $100, of which $60 goes to the reader.)
Leonard said he and Megan Halpern, the Black List executive leading the theater expansion, have been talking to theater industry leaders for months about the idea of broadening the scope of the Black List, with the goal of targeting undiscovered playwrights and musical theater writers. help find work in the theatre. and possibly also in film or TV.
“What we’ve heard is people want to find new playwrights, but the reality of wading through the slush is insurmountable,” he said.