The Sunday Giveaway: 2 Tickets to 4000 Miles at Lincoln Center Theater

One of the most exciting “productions” to come out of Lincoln Center over the past five years or so wasn’t South Pacific . . . and it wasn’t Other Desert Cities.

It was LCT3.

LCT3 is a new program dedicated to “the next generation of playwrights, directors and designers.”  And, just like Roundabout’s Underground series, they only charge $20/ticket.

Yep – remember that time I said theater tickets weren’t always expensive?

Bam!  There’s LCT3 to prove it.

4000 Miles by the will-be-reckoned-with Amy Herzog started out at LCT3 and just graduated to the Mitzi Newhouse and it was also just extended two more weeks to July 1st.

And one of you is going to see it for free.

How do you win?

LCT3 is a great way to inspire young playwrights to write.  What are other ways we can get young writers writing and continuing to write for the theater instead of flocking to Hollywood?

Got ideas?  Comment them below and I’ll pick one at random and send ’em to 4000 Miles.



(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below!  Email subscribers, click here then scroll down, to say what’s on your mind!)



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  • Randy says:

    I think some of the best ways to get young writers to write for the theater would be to find older playwrights to mentor them and to teach them these important truths:

    1. It’s not all about money and fame.
    2. The rewards of the theater are much more immediate — the audience response happens right in the moment.
    3. There are plenty of workshops in which to develop your work.
    4. You can stay truer to your integrity and artistic self by writing for the theater. It is more satisfying for your soul.
    5. Plenty of playwrights go back and forth between theater, film and television, and theater will open up many more opportunities.
    6. There is nothing more satisfying than working with a director and a group of actors who are committed to seeing your play succeed.
    7. It is easier to stay with your artistic vision if you write for the theater. Theater is a playwright’s medium. Film and tv are for the director.
    8. And finally, the play’s the thing!

  • Zach says:

    We can get young writers by promising them productions of plays, regardless of their output. Also by paying them accordingly.

  • DJK says:

    I think the establishment of an initiative like the Signature theatre’s “Residency Five” program, providing funding, multiple productions and health insurance to playwrights- but selecting playwrights at an earlier stage than even the “Residency Five”- selecting playwrights who have yet to have a Broadway or Off-broadway production. It’s a risk, certainly, but in order to compete with the financial security possible in writing for television and film, it’s necessary.

  • Noah says:

    Start more undergraduate playwriting programs! Many of the programs are graduate programs so students wouldn’t be able to start as early. Or, a producer should start a playwriting school, and produce the work from the students. A risky investment, but it could be a huge payoff.

  • Lynn A. says:

    I really think Randy mentioned many that I was thinking. I believe mentors are the key. And its not just ‘young’ playwrights it ‘new’ playwrights.
    We just need people to read the darn thing. That is a challenge in itself.

  • Lowell Achziger says:

    After working 50 years, live theater still is the best art form there is and we should do everything possible to support and inspire young artists. The future of the art form depends on it.

  • John P. says:

    Woody Allen spent three summers at Tamiment – he learned to write by having to meet a deadline every week no matter what.

  • KENI FINE says:

    Great blog post – very exciting developments!
    As for young writers, I am working directly on it: I have a 14 year old daughter who loves theater, loves reading, and enjoys writing when she has an assignment. So I have begun telling her about the many opportunities for teenage playwrights, (telling her what a great ‘standout’ that would be for colleges!), educating her about 10 Minute Plays and other short forms, and finally, I have told her that I, as a producer, will pay her for her work if and when she takes me up on it and writes a play!
    Stay tuned….

  • Liz Wollman says:

    Subsidize! Subsidize! Subsidize!

  • Encourage playwriting at the high school level with the additional incentive of having the pieces produced in a festival like atmosphere. This can be accomplished through an established creative writing or theater program, or as an extra curricular activity. I once taught a gifted class of students and they wrote, produced, starred in, their own musical. The experience alone was priceless (not to mention the comraderie and laughter than insued when they tried singing and dancing at the same time). Incidently these were decidedly NOT theater students, but everything from future scientists to artists.


    Tell them Steven Spielberg told you he likes to see HIS first project drafts in play form first.

  • EllenFD says:

    Create a residency at colleges that offer concentrations in writing plays. The end result each semester would be a fully funded production, using local talent and hopefully the resources of the local business community, of the playwright’s work.

  • Diana L says:

    It would benefit the craft to have mentor forums for new playrights of ALL ages and at locations around the country. I for one was a sponge in my early years.I did not know what to say. Now I am in my age of expression of the links, relationships and ramifications of all the saved memories and observations that were absorbed in pain, desire, rejection and acceptance. My heart and mind are young although the calendar has more pages.

  • Diana L says:

    It would benefit the craft to have mentor forums open to new playwrights of ALL ages and at locations around the country. When I was young I was a sponge. I did not know what to say.The years of absorbing the meanings, ramifications,connections and links have led to my time of expression of the distilled pain, love,rejection and acceptance. My heart and mind are younger than the number of pages the calendar holds.I too have something of value to bring forward.

  • janiska says:

    Internships might be a good idea, but age should not be a factor.
    That would make Broadway like the kiddie games where everyone wins a trophy because their parents want them to get a scholarship and they’re too young to deal with failure. Please…
    It does no one a favor. The kids only wind up seeing themselves as exempt from the failure that teaches the persistence that lead to success.
    Limiting opportunities also implies that young thespians are already somehow excluded from the theater and can be a part only as a member of a special group.
    Broadway opportunities should be based only on the quality of ones work.

  • Brittany says:

    Encourage theatregoing earlier and more often. Young writers don’t know what they’re missing!

  • Wendy Caster says:

    Return the writing award to the Tonys–and award three stipends to writers who have had Off-Off-Broadway shows. Treat Off-Off-Broadway writers as the equivalent of double A ball players, with a chance at the majors.

  • janiska says:

    Great idea Wendy.

  • Brian says:

    I think the only thing you can do is mentor and award young writers before they are influenced by Hollywood. There’s not much else you can do. It has to be inside of them and the love for writing for the theater has to be inside that young writer.

  • Branden says:

    We need to give writers the opportunity to see their work up on their feet but only those writers who are worthy. There are too many writers out in the world and not all of them are worthy of full productions. We need a system that does more workshops and productions of new playwrights work but with a tough system to make sure it is those with the highest quality of work. They don’t need to be expensive but quality and careful workshops and productions to help guide and encourage the right writers.

  • April says:

    Start students out with seeing theatre and critiquing it in writing, then have them rewrite a workable play using their critique to make it better — then spark them to write their own.

    4000 Miles sounds like a theatre dream — much like ‘night Mother touched the chords of so many. Used it with suicide prevention programs and more to let the power of theatre work its magic.

  • Ed from CT says:

    If writing students learn the difference in the way Hollywood writers and theater writers are generally compensated over the long term- particularly how Hollywood is often a work-for-hire (especially for newbies) but, with theater, the author owns the work and the rights- they may re-think flocking to Hollywood.

  • Nick V says:

    I think the best way to fix this long term is to start with out youth. More incentives we can provide young talent to write for the theater, will inspire more writers to pursue this line of work. Events like Godspell 2032 and the emergence of musicals like Newsies and Matilda should help. But the school system needs to start reinforcing the importance of theatre and creative writing.

  • Katherine says:

    More opportunities for readings and full productions!! Let’s have more organizations who are willing to take responsibility for creating a safe place for a playwright and plays to grow, away from the eyes of critics and the financial constraints. Places like Primary Stages’ ESPA are very healthy. Real hands-on collaborative work with actors and directors.

  • Ellen Orchid says:

    As a playwright, I would love there to be a set-up where I could come to work Mon-Friday and write from 9am-12pm and then from 1pm-5pm, attend readings of my work and other playwrights’, with other writers and directors present who could also offer their feedback. In a perfect world, I would get paid a salary for this (heavenly) job. In the afternnon, 1-5pm, we would get to hear the work out loud read by experienced actors, and have a group of directors who would approach the writers whose work intrigued them and they would start directing it. Each writer would have a set # of weeks to produce a full-length work and it would be evolving on a daily basis. In the evenings, the actors and directors would rehearse the work and the playwright wouldn’t necessarily attend until invited to sit in. Then the work would be done as a staged reading for an invited audience and those works that were solid would advance to full productions. To me, to be able to write daily and have this “factory” approach (for want of a better word), would be pure heaven. I have not yet found such a set-up. I can write on my own and get actors to read my work, but it’s harder to get directors involved. I would welcome anyone to suggest to me where I could find any kind of workshop resembling this. I know there are playwriting classes where one can pay, but I have done those and have produced my own works in NYC festivals, and I would like to find a setting where I could do this daily; I know I would generate some solid full-length plays. Writing is hard work and I love it; just wish I could do it in a very structured and supportive setting where I didn’t have to work a day-job to pay the bills.

  • Jax says:

    1. Workshops and readings
    2. Residency and subsidy
    3. Guidance and mentorship

  • Linda S. says:

    Colleges and universities with drama or theatre departments could arrange for playwrighting internships and mentoring opportunities, by networking with alumni. I recently linked a theatre student from my university with a friend who’s co-artistic director of a theatre company, for an internship that would involve largely theatre management (including moving to a new theatre). But the emphasis could as well have been on writing and staging.

  • virginia vanderbilt says:

    I can only tell you I have a fourteen year old who is now writing. She takes a class (after school)with a young writer. He’s really teaching the students the basics and they write short plays. They work together all week comparing ideas.

  • Naomi B. says:

    I also have a young teen daughter who is really beginning to love writing, especially fiction. She wants to write a play this summer. We’ve found a classroom environment on the west side that encourages her, but it’s relatively expensive although they do raise money for scholarships for kids in at-risk communities, which I think is great. The more kids exposed to theater and writing –in all communities–the bettr.

  • Barbara Ross says:

    Miss Rose can’t beat you because she never entered. The name is Ross

  • Colton says:

    In addition to LCT3, Lincoln Center has the very highly regarded Director’s Lab, which gathers a large group of directors from around the world to examine a specific theme through workshops, lectures, and the creation of original work. My question is: why doesn’t Lincoln Center do the same for playwrights? Imagine if they gathered thirty or so young, passionate playwrights from across the world to conceive, write, and put up readings of completely new and original works? After the workshop, they could choose one piece or playwright in particular which they find promising, and offer them a slot in the LCT3 season.

    It is my belief that so many of these young playwrights feel as though nobody cares about their work. There seems to be this idea that one must be, at least, middle-aged, if not older, to write a great American play. After all, when is the last time anyone under 30 has won a Pulitzer Prize for drama? I think we need to validate the voice of the younger generation, one that stretches beyond MTV and, dare I say, HBO.

    In addition to a “Writer’s Lab,” I think we need to encourage everyone to write. Bruce Norris and Tracy Letts are examples that immediately come to mind — actors who felt the desire to write a play, and went on to write critically-acclaimed masterpieces. Many assume that if you don’t have an MFA in playwriting, you might as well drop the pen. We all have the power to tell stories, I think we just need to open the door a bit wider to encourage everyone to feel empowered to tell them.

  • Paul Argentini says:

    Writing a play is like crossing a desert in search of water. It is the most difficult art form in the world. Only a playwright can be taught how to write a play. I.Q., instinct, and the ability to critique one’s own work are essential. One needs to go through the fire by failing, failing, and failing again. Then, the playwright may be eligible to get $275,000. a week to doctor scripts in Hollywood. All else is sandbox doings, and job security for “teachers.”

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