How To Get A Producer To Read Your Script. (Updated 2018).

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 getting your hands on my “How to Self Diagnose Your Script Execution Plan!” Click here to snag your copy now!  All this will prevent your script from just getting tossed on the stack.)

_ _ _ _

Want to know what actual writers did to get their script read, and what producers look for in a show? Get inside knowledge when you listen in on my one-on-one podcasts with Joe DipietroBarry Weissler, and Stephen Flaherty.

Get more knowledge about the industry, monthly newsletters and webinars—like Get Your Show Off The Ground, plus a Tip of the Week email, when you join TheProducersPerspectivePRO today.

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Comments
  • 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?

    • moses hazan says:

      I would love your comments on my new musical if possible. Thank you. Moses Hazan 702-326-4430

      • Sharrol Frederick says:

        How can I get my book introduce to a producer pickles play baseball and all about pickles I have a new book coming out called The Adventures of pickles by books are about bullying hazing and respect and what it feels like when you have a disability what it’s like to have to live with a disability

  • 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.

    • I have really taken efforts for making contests and won this prize and if any1 like aashu comes and pointed out me then it is very depressing.I request that no1 should point out any user just because of the same surname.

  • 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 ….

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • faisal says:

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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!!

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    • Oh, yes, I can understand those statements you say to yourself. I’m quite self-deprecating.I’m terrible at giving myself grace. And therefore sometimes withhold it from others.But, yes, you are so right (and I love those verses). Giving and receiving grace is in fact a much stronger path because it’s a path with God. Good thoughts.

  • 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?

  • 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

  • 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.

  • This site truly has all of the information and facts I needed
    concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  • franchise says:

    Great artіcle, totallү what I neеded.

  • orji udoh says:

    I wrote a script and I want to sell it

  • Fred Stein says:

    i have a musical comedy based on “Work”, “Single Life” “Shopping” .” with alot of audience participation on stage . Yes the audience will be stars too,,,,,,Don’t want any one here to steal my ideas but I bet you with all the “gimmicks” I have in store; the media and the public will surely will not be able to ignore me or the “Play”. It will shake , rattle, and roll them.. See my website at http://www.fredsteinmusic.com. i will do almost anything to get people to laugh and think. You can contact me at fred377@aol.com Get me while I’m still cheap……

  • Jason Marquart says:

    I have a book out called Kevin’s Revenge. It is about Kevin getting revenge and getting involved in the White House and his children grow up and continue his legacy . Please get back to me. My phone number is 830-385-5957

  • hi I’m Gabriel Joseph dubosq and if you want to check me out on Facebook I got a script Called edge racer and if you read it please notify me how is it make sense or stuff like that cuz I don’t mind if you want to change a little bit is just have our time dating lines to it but I know it’ll be a good movie so please help me out

  • Onuoha Eleanya Onuoha says:

    how can i get producers to read my movie script.

  • Alexis Lachine says:

    How do you get a sitcom looked at in Hollywood if you are not Jewish?

  • Kira Dolbec trudel says:

    Hi I don’t have a script I’m thirteen but my aunt did something incredible that needs to be made into a movie.

    It’s about a mentally handicapped girl she adopted from a center were she worked she tried to cheer that girl up (mellisa) she bought toys and puppets and finally she cheered her up. She was the bedtime at the center of the handicapped and mental. After a while. Sheep adopted mellisa for 2 years .she taught her to use a wheelchair and eat since she couldn’t . She bring her to Santa village and a zoo she loved it!

    But. After a while everything went out if place everyone started telling my aunt to leave her go and it’s to hard for you. She listened she regretted it so much. After to years. Later she saw her again and mellisa remembered her right away!

    Plz do this story it needs to be told I’m sorry I have no script like I said I’m thirteen I was shocked when I heard my aunt say this it Everest respect it deserves everything plz call this number if urged interested and ask for Kathy. 581 357 3255.

    Can u plz also tell me were Ivan go to make another director see this thank u..

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  • My name is William Kenneth Tincher I have written a Trilogy of When Two Worlds Collide. I never had the money to have them proof read. but you can read and understand. They are already published this is new material and the best Sci-fi ever written, if you get time please check them out. Please contact me and can send stories to you as I have said all of this is new material.

  • I Have An Amazing Script Titled The Gambler Its Soo So Amazing FuLl Of Hurt And Action If You Know Any Director Who WouLd Be Interested PLease CaLL Me +233506079792

  • Emma says:

    Hello

    I am a screenplay and novel writer at uni although I am not a American I would love for you to send me the full version of her story and I can base the story on real life events. I have to write a compulsory true story as a
    screenplay. Can you send me your email address. One day when I graduate I have an opportunity to give this story to an agent.

  • John says:

    Someone asked if he/she was too young to have a script accepted.Can someone be too old? As for Cirque coming to Broadway–Have audiences reached the point when they no longer choose to think but now merely sit and stare? Whay writers at all?

  • Jeff Feldman says:

    I love your site and info. I wrote a script based on a true story of young punk in New Jersey, who avoids getting locked up, and becomes a world champion pool player. He must get over his fears, and go back to playing as a senior to save his friends life. “True and heart wrenching, feel good movie”.
    Need to have it read, and I’m sure it will speak for itself. Contact Jeff Feldman 727-488-4488

  • John Linscott says:

    Look out New York.! I am coming for the seminar on October 17.
    I will have my musical, Love and Lobsters with me. I wrote book,lyrics and music so have only myself to blame. Besides, L&L has had a staged reading, a cabaret version and a successful full stage production–a great Maine story. Audience and cast had a ball. So will Broadway!

  • mutesi shamim says:

    i have written a few scripts about african love stories,i hope to get a good producer to work with

  • Sue Ploeger says:

    Just started writing plays after 20 yrs. of screenwriting. I’m enjoying exploring your website.

    A little thing: the link in #5 of [contests] doesn’t work.

    A list of the top 10 contests to win would be a great blog post :).

    Thanks

  • We are a group of creative souls brought together by our passion for the Theater, bringing classics to the forefront with a twist as well as original pieces to our community and beyond. All this with a touch of Reality on Social Media.
    WE ARE FROM MIAMI AND WE ARE LOOKING FOR A PRODUCER.
    https://www.facebook.com/Realityplayers/about/?entry_point=page_nav_about_item&tab=overview

  • Douglas Cameron says:

    I would like to do a movie about a real flying electric car. I designed it my self.

  • Ganza Louis says:

    Hey am a movie writer I would like to tell you my horreur movie called( bad black blooded beasts) is there a producer to read this script

    • rosh kiran says:

      hi,
      i am from India. I am not a professionally writer, but I have talent. I don’t want any popularity, I just wanted to sell my script.
      I have nice love story.
      can you please suggest me….?

  • Dewey evans says:

    I don’t understand exactly how to get a producer to read my script but I can say this much I have a story that is one of the greatest true story in the world here it is one of a kind that you will laugh cry and you wonder

  • Dewey evans says:

    If anybody could help me would you please email me back I need to find out how the producer read the script and get the script on file thank you

  • Michael Hrdlovic says:

    Hi everyone
    I wrote a truly unique script and I am not certain who to approach. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

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