As someone who gets a minimum of 10 script submissions a week, I can tell you first hand that I know how hard it is to get a Producer to read your script and give it even 1/10th of the time and energy that you gave when you wrote it.

So what can you do to get that Producer to take that first step to producing your show and actually sit down and read your script?

Here are five tips on how to get a Producer to read your script:

1.  THE ASSISTANT APPROACH

Surprise, surprise, most people who work in Producers’ offices love plays and musicals, and have similar tastes to their boss, or at least know what the boss likes or doesn’t like (no one in my office is bringing me absurdist operas about Dadaism and its effect on South African monkeys).

Odds are that these people don’t get a minimum of 10 scripts a week sent to them like the guy or gal with their name on the door.  So find a way to get your script to them (which will probably make them feel pretty special and they’ll be even more inclined to like it).  If they do read it, and if they do like it, they’ll have 40+ hours a week to push it to the Producer.  If the Producer has already hired that person, then they already trust them, so odds are high that he or she will read it.  I know I’d read anything that my staff asked me to.

2.  THE TREATMENT APPROACH

Time is moolah, so sitting down (or standing up) and reading a script is
a major investment for someone with a busy schedule.  I once did NOT
read a play simply because it was 187 pages.  It could have been the
next August: Osage County, but the thought of flipping 187 pages when
I looked at my schedule made me throw up in my mouth (BTW, I did give
it to an associate to read, and it was NOT August: Osage County).  The
last thing you want is the taste of vomit in a Producer’s mouth
before they’ve even glanced at your script.

Why not send a paragraph or one page treatment to whet the appetite of
the Producer.  Or just send one of the best scenes (Producers tend to make up their minds quickly about plays and if your first few pages don’t grab the reader . . . don’t start by sending the whole play which starts with the first few pages!!!)

Along with the treatment, include a postage-paid postcard with a box to check to
request the full play, or ask him or her to reply to an email if he or she wants to read the
full play.  Not every show is for every Producer, and that doesn’t mean it’s a bad
script.  God knows, the Dadaism opera could be the next Jersey Boys, but
I still wouldn’t want to produce it.  Why waste the Producer’s time and
the Earth’s trees if the show isn’t a concept that appeals to the
Producer?

Anyone can read a page.  Bait the Producer.  Get him or her to
ask YOU for something.  Make them beg for it.  It’ll put a little psychological power back in your court.

3.  THE PRODUCTION APPROACH

Produce the show.  Anywhere.  Anyhow.  Produced shows have more value.  I don’t care if it was up at a community theater, a black box on the lower-east side, or in your college dorm room.  Get it up, and tell me that it was up, and show me some good reviews.  A few random quotes from a Philadelphia paper is what got me interested in the book writer of Altar Boyz‘s work.  Without those quotes, he and I never would have met, and the show wouldn’t be the same.

It doesn’t even matter what the production values were like or if you only sold 2 tickets.  Just give me the highlights . . . like a (here we go) baseball game on the 11 PM news.  Show me the game happened.  Show me that you won.  And show me a couple of great ‘plays’.  But I don’t need to know everything.

4.  THE PAY THE PRODUCER TO READ IT APPROACH.

Just kidding.  ;-)

5.  THE CONTEST APPROACH.

Can’t get a show up?  Win a contest.  There are zillions of playwriting contests out there.  Enter a few.  Win a lot.  Slap that seal of approval all over your cover page that you send with your one-pager.  Awards are cool and even if it’s from an organization I’ve never heard of, it still makes Producers sit up and take notice.  (By the way, contest deadlines are also great ways to motivate yourself to finish something if you’re having trouble setting a deadline for yourself)

There are many other ways to get Producers to read your script.  Just put yourself in their shoes.  Imagine that they don’t know you or what it took to write your baby.  What would make you read it?

Oh, and what do you do if you try all this, and do your follow up, and they still say they don’t want to read your script?

Move on.  #$*&( ‘em.  You can thank them for passing on it when you win your Tony Award, because there was obviously someone better suited to produce it.

You just have to get that person to read it.

(Oh, and before you try to get a Producer to read your script, make sure that script is ready for reading!  You only get one chance to make that first impression, so make sure your script is tuned up and the best it can be before submitting.  I suggest you do readings, have friends read it, and I also strongly suggest script coverage services so you can get professional feedback on how your script stacks up.  All this will prevent your script from just getting tossed on the stack.)

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16 Responses to How To Get A Producer To Read Your Script.

  1. RLewis says:

    Does any producer in their right mind really ever produce a new show just based on reading the script or even their assistant reading it? I can’t imagine anyone ever doing this without some other connection to the property (knowing the artists, seeing a workshop, solid rec’s or awards, etc.). I worry that it might be unhelpful to the theater community to lead our talented writers on to believe that a major production ever works this way. Are there any nyc success stories to this approach?

  2. OMG… going through the archives, so you’ll probably never read this, but I signed up for your newsletter & Broadwayspace.com and I’m feeling more encouraged by the moment… I LOOOOOVE YOU. Btw, I just finished THE WAR OF ART by Steven Pressfield.

  3. Barbara Carole Sickmen says:

    I’ve been involved in a musical based on the iconic film “MIDNIGHT COWBOY”
    The author did a “brilliant” thing. He threw a guitar into JOE BUCK’S hands, followed him into New York city where big “dumb”Joe is on a quest to become a singer song writer, meets RATSO who offers to show him the ropes in the big bad gritty city and
    an unconventional friendship begins ! I’ve read that final draft and it’s a winner. The music has been written to the great lyrics that tell this NEW YORK story that is touching and delivers a dramatic/musical punch ! MGM is ready if the right producer
    comes along! think “STETSON” and the show has huge market value too!
    IF INTERESTED … Contact – newyorklyrics@aol.com
    i’M THE CREATIVE PRODUCER ….

  4. Osa says:

    I have a question, though. What if you just penned what might be the greatest musical since je ne sais quoi. But then the age question comes along and it get’s denied because the author is “too young”. Does that ever happen?

  5. I don’t know of any success stories– but when I worked for a Broadway producer she encouraged me to read scripts and pick out good ones for her.
    In the book world, this happens all the time– and human nature being what it is, I’m sure it crosses over to stage and screen.

  6. faisal says:

    i am a young artist who is seaching for producer and i know i can do good music my name is xcon

  7. Bruno Campolo says:

    Hey my name is Bruno Campolo

    Phone number 646 696 8437

    I have a full length script that you will be interested in

    Synopsis for Family Values

    An Italian family moves out of Brooklyn NY to start a vending company in Newburgh NY through strong arm. Takes place in the 1970′s &1980′s to where the sons are running it today.

  8. Sharon Sims says:

    Hello.. I have a script.base on true events. Its an experience about being homeless. It’s takes place in the mid to late 80′s. Would love for someone to read script. Never a dull moment. Thank you. My contact number is 3475861104.

  9. Sally Abrahams says:

    Your Hit Musical from Pretoria South Africa!!

    We have just produced a musical play, based on the Prodigal Son,but set in 2013. This is the story of the son of a very wealthy Jewish Attorney, who did not want to join dads lucrative firm. He wanted to go and find himself with dads money!!
    We sold over 500 tickets, and the show ran over 3 nights. We used original music and lyrics that cover ALL genres:Rock-pop-reggae-dance-ballad and then some!
    We have been asked to put the show on again in October!
    Would your assistants like to read the script & listen to the music-you think?
    Kind regards
    Sally

  10. You should take a look at Coming Out, running in Dublin, OH through Oct 19 at The Abbey Theater. The show has its own website (http://comingouttheplay.com) and Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/comingouttheplay). Audiences have been small but responsive. This being Columbus, and a brand new show,and not the third version of the same 30 year old musical in the last four months, naturally there are no reviews. Nine characters, ensemble cast, one set, with a running time just under two hours including intermission. In addition to the obvious gay (marriage) theme, we have infidelity, domestic violence, a religious nut, and what one cast member called “old people sex,” all set at a 40th anniversary celebration somewhat marred by the gay son’s conflict with the televangelist son, an abused preacher’s wife who’s decided it’s time to get out, and the appearance of Dad’s pregnant secretary.

  11. Sukaina says:

    Please can anyone tell me how to find an Investor for a broadway. As we have a great Broadway concept ready. As I am from India and the concept is from Bollywood and a great Celebrity directing it. Please advise!!

  12. Earl Lewin says:

    Visiting Sam . . . a romantic comedy. I had a staged reading at The Prince Theatre, Chestertown, MD last July. Great reaction. A full production scheduled now for Church Hill Theatre, Aug 1 through 10. won’t pay the producer to read it. Will provide room and board to see it. Oh yeh. It’s not a musical. Do people still do those?

  13. my musical HOLIDAY IN HEAVEN, has been in two theaters, St. Clements and Hudson Guild Theater.

    Its the year 3000 AD, Heaven is holding a harp contest, the judge from Earth falls in love with the hero of her dreams. They want to get married, heaven says no, and then something happens. There are two weddings, and homelessness is erased from New York City.

    It can be seen at

    VIMEO -
    Demetria Daniels
    718-885-6576

  14. David Sibley says:

    I live in San Diego California and I wrote some funny scripts and I need to know where to go to get them produced.

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