The Sunday Giveaway: Free Script coverage for your play or musical!

script coverage broadway We’re taking a break from giving away tickets this week, and giving you something that can help you make your show more successful.

As you all know, I’m a huge fan of getting as much feedback on scripts as possible.  I tell all my consulting clients to do reading after reading, and to have everyone and their brother read their work.  While you may get vastly different opinions, what you look for is any common comments.  My rule is that if you hear the same thing from three people, (first act too long, this joke isn’t funny, etc.) you know you’ve got an issue.  And, during this feedback process, it’s imperative to get objective opinions.  Your friends, relatives, spouse, etc. will often give you slightly biased opinions.  And that’s not what you want.  You want the unadulterated truth from an expert.

One of the most educational things I did for a project I was working on a couple of years ago, was get professional “script coverage” . . . or pay a professional to read my work and give me a thorough written analysis of the script.  It was incredible.  I learned things about that project, and also on my style in general.  It made me a better writer.  And based on the expert’s advice, I revised the work, submitted it to a few competitions, and won first place in one and fourth in another.  Not bad, huh?

And that’s why we started offering script coverage at Davenport Theatrical!  One of my missions is to help you get your shows up on a stage, faster and more efficiently.  That’s why I teach the seminars I do, from Get Your Show Off The Ground to How To Raise Money For Your Show.  And script coverage is one of those important pieces of the puzzle.

And this week, we’re giving away away one script coverage evaluation for free!

How do you win?

Just tell me why you want it.  We’ll pick one of you and the next thing you know, you’ll have a road map on how to make your script even better then it already is.

Go!

 

(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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Comments
  • sherry says:

    I have an amzing play which should be of incredible interest to a wide audience. Not sure how to proceed and would LOVE the opportunity to have a professional give me feedback. Thanks for your consideration.

  • Michael DiGaetano says:

    I want it because I ‘grew up” in the world of television writing, where no matter how many times you think your script is done… it never is. Our musical (Danny Lincoln being the other half of ‘our’) MIss Humanity is for everyone but us. And the more professional voices who give their opinion the better. People I work with always ask me why I am so amenable to notes when so many writers get angry even if you tell them to change a comma. I say I will take any suggestion to make a show better. It’s not about ego. It’s about giving an audience a night to remember.

  • Billy R. says:

    While I’m only a high school junior currently, I have been writing musicals since I was a young kid. One of my shows has already been performed in Manhattan at the Kraine Theatre in 2011, but as I prepare for college, I am not sure what is the right path for me to major in, even though what I really want to do with my life is write shows. I want to share stories that need to be told. Nonetheless, a coverage would be great for my original musical that I have been editing since it’s first production in 2011, and as I prepare for the NYMF submissions in November, I have been doing a complete overhaul of the show. I would love this help to be able to see what really works, what doesn’t and above all else, if the story is one that needs to be told, a question I ask myself before any musical that I begin.

  • Jeremy C says:

    “Go on my son.
    Don’t be afraid.
    Go forth to The Field
    Where all the lives are made.
    Pour your soul into that land
    And see what it will yield.
    The past is in the womb.
    The future’s in The Field.”

    I just moved to NYC to produce my show The Field at Dixon Place on November 6. The Field is a modern musical myth about going out into The Field, working some land and growing life. My goal is to create a show that’s unique but also universally relevant and relatable.
    With presentations in LA, NYC, and Boston I’m pleased with how The Field has grown so far. But to keep growing, I’ll need professional guidance for the script. As the writer,director, producer, composer, lyricist, photographer, performer of The Field, I could greatly benefit from some outside perspective. Thank you for this opportunity.

  • Zach Abramson says:

    We have a new musical in development, and we’re looking to bring the book to the next level and integrate and merge the story in a deeper way with the immersive party atmosphere of the show. Your feedback would be very helpful and greatly appreciated. Thanks for your consideration!

  • Joe Starzyk says:

    I have a drama entitled “Professor Roth’s Will” and I would like script coverage. I generally write comedies so this is a little outside my element and I’d love some feedback on whether the piece of gold I’ve written is deep and filled with insights into human behavior or if it is just trite and obvious. This piece is also largely autobiographical so it is difficult for me to try and cut anything.

  • Elisa Christina Clayton says:

    Our musical “Rhymes-n-Reasons” is too long and the cast size large so we need an objective point of view of where and how to shorten it and whether or not a character or two (or more) are expendable.

  • Randy Hobler says:

    My musical “The Spirit of River City” has been
    in development for ten years now and when you
    have multiple sets of changes via readings, performances, dramaturgs’ comments, friends’
    comments, you of course listen to all notes and try to boil them down to essentials and keep the
    overall thrust of the show the same and try to
    keep it at length and try to make sure you haven’t created some conflicting ideas as you
    change things. Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees, you’re so close to it, and I would love to have a professional review this
    to see where various dramatic issues need addressing.

  • Elaine says:

    My play has had readings in NY and several regional theatres. It has placed well in a couple of competitions. Contracts are signed for its first production in 2014 at a small professional theatre. Professional script analysis in advance of that production would help insure its success and enhance the possibility that it will have a continued life beyond this first opportunity.

  • Hey Ken,
    Great idea!

    I have a one hour, one woman show that had 3 short, very successful seasons in Australia 2 years ago. The show is set in Berlin in 1933 and tells the story of a wildly famous Cabaret star who is performing her final show – she’s suddenly no longer welcome at the club because she is a Jew. I know there is an audience here in NYC for the show, and would love the opportunity to work it up to a more traditional 90 minute off-broadway length. I’ve been working on this expansion myself, but since I am primarily an actor and not a writer, I’d love the input to help to take it to the next level.

    Thanks Ken!

  • Michael Edan says:

    I started writing plays four years ago [Full length, One Acts and several 10-minute pieces]. Several One Acts have been selected for festivals in various states, several times winning best play or audience favorite. A full length made it to the semi-finals of a prestigious playwright award. Several monologues have been published in monologue books for teens. I feel strongly that my writing and its production is ready to go to the next [professional] level.

    I’ve been working on a piece that is dramatically unique and in my opinion commercially viable. It is a 3-Act play 5 character play. The theme involves the world of mental health and includes mythological and mystical motifs. I have completed the first 2 Acts, and the first two scenes of Act III. So while the full play is not yet complete, I am very excited by the prospect of receiving professional feedback that can serve to clarify and strengthen my writing, as I recognize such feedback can be invaluable. Some of my immediate interests pertaining to such a professional consult reading would include the following questions. Does the play flow or is it jerky?; does it engage and hold interest or where does it falter in that area?; is the dialogue basically believable even in areas where it moves into ‘poetic heightened language’?; does the ratio of movement from one group of characters to another work or do scenes need to be relocated or even dropped?; does the arc for each act work? Is there sufficient dramatic tension? Where does dramatic tension need to be heightened? Do the end of the Acts ‘pop’ in terms of theatrical impact? So I would be most appreciative of such a consult, and willing to impliment the gems that it can provide. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • I have experienced wonderful growth from a script coverage session I had 1 year ago. Your staff was IMENSELY helpful to me, and I have since brought on a partner in re-writing the book to my (our!) musical, for which I write the songs.

    We want to know how well we have progressed!

  • sarah says:

    I need help with a musical project that we’ve been working on backwards – staring with lyrics for 12 songs and now trying to build a script that stays true to the emotions of the songs. It’s edgy material and some wonderful BMI workshop composers have been involved. A couple of readings have made us feel good about general audience response. Now we need an experienced eye to help us create a cohesive product with some commercial potential!

  • Kenneth Talberth says:

    I had left the theatre, for all intents and purposes. Life and career steered me away, far from the days of studying with Stella Adler and dreaming the big dreams that we all do. Ah, life.

    Over the last year or so, the career that I did embrace (related to but not of the stage) seems to have betrayed me, perhaps a payback for betraying the theatre that I so love. Less poetically and more acurately, the result of our challenging economy.

    So, I have found myself struggling to find employment, in and of itself a full-time job, but certainly one that does not feed the soul –and not even consistently the body. The need to be creative again and to put some of this unwanted spare time to positive use led me, this spring, to put the proverbial pen to paper once again.

    To be writing and creating and thinking theatre once more has been a life raft for me. The result is a play for three actors called TRAVELING which examines the fine line between the embrace and comfort of memories and the danger of living in the past and relying on illusion to avoid the future. Plans for an informal reading of the script are in the works for next month here in New York.

    I have been reading THE PRODUCER’S PROSPECTIVE for several years now and have been so entertained and educated by your writing.

    I would be very lucky indeed if your prospective were to be applied to my work.

    Thanks.

  • PW Hall says:

    I have a script that has won a cash contest and had two professional readings, yet never been produced. I can tell “something’s wrong,” but I can’t put my finger on it. Most people agree with me that it feels “light,” but that’s about as specific as we can get.
    It’s a funny, moving script. I want it to work!

  • John P. says:

    I want it so I can get my show up on stage faster and more efficiently!

  • Frederic Tacon says:

    I have a family musical that I am editing and preparing for its second local production. However, after reading through some of the comments, I would encourage you to give the script coverage to Billy R., the high school junior. I was him in high school, and it would have been an amazing to have had someone to provide professional, honest, constructive feedback of my work. It is important for us to encourage young, new talent. Billy obviously has the passion. This opportunity might just be what he needs to feel confident about pursuing writing in college and beyond. Thanks!

  • Laura says:

    Three years ago I randomly met a man on the beach. He asked me what I would do if I could rub the genie bottle, and I told him I’d write a show.

    “A show? What kind of show?”
    “A Broadway show, a musical.”
    “No way.”
    “Why…is that weird?”(We were in a small town in Northern Michigan—a far cry from NY.)
    “I’m a composer working on a musical, and I’ve been looking for a lyricist.”
    “Whoa.”

    At first I thought it was some sort of pickup line, but then he told me the story, showed me his music studio (turned out he’s an award-winning film composer), and shared what he had done so far.

    After watching the moon set over Lake Michigan, we said goodnight. Nice to meet you. Let’s stay in touch.

    The next morning I woke with a blazing heart. I wrote a song, walked to his studio and knocked on the door. After I sang it, he sat at the piano and played.

    “Is this it?” he asked.
    “Ya.”
    “That’s strange…I started writing this song last week.”
    “Whoa.”

    Since that day, we’ve been writing and rewriting. Dozens of songs are fully orchestrated. A draft of the two-act libretto is complete. But it’s a big show, and as it stands, it’s overwritten. I’m in the process of editing, but I need some perspective, some direction on where it’s working and where it’s not. What needs to be cut, and what needs to stay.

    Shortly after our meeting on the beach, my creative partner relayed his side of the story. That when he saw me, he felt compelled to come down, as though he had no choice in the matter. He fought the urge until finally giving in.

    If I recall, a mentor of yours once said he doesn’t invest in projects, he invests in people.

    Perhaps in this case, you might be willing to invest in a story…a story of how a musical fatefully brought two people together and, ultimately, came to be. Not to mention the role you would be playing in its unfolding mystery. Thank you for your consideration.

  • I produced my full-length farce Kill the Critic! at a local theater this summer. It was a huge hit with the audience and got a ton of laughs. The best part: I sold enough tickets that I actually made a profit on the show, about $500 on a $2500 budget.

    Since then, I’ve submitted the script to over 100 contests and theater companies. It came in 2nd in both the Robert J. Pickering Award for Playwriting Excellence and the McLaren Memorial Comedy Playwriting Competition. But for the life of me, I can’t get any theater companies to take it seriously.

    I know the play isn’t deep. It offers no solutions to the problems facing our world. But it does make people laugh, and I think that’s in short supply these days.

    I’d love to get script coverage on it to see if there’s something fundamentally wrong in my storytelling or if it’s just having a hard time getting produced because it’s a farce.

  • Rich Mc says:

    My play, 1.White Wins!? has received two NYC staged readings and is contemporary & edgy. Consistent feedback is that ‘it messes with your head’. Problem I have is making it accessible to a broader audience (and attracting a producer or theater company) given some of the scientific concepts that permeate the plot/dialogue.

  • David Lewis Newman says:

    Having presented my Jukebox Musical (If the jukebox was 150 years old), BEAUTIFUL DREAMER – THE STEPHEN FOSTER MUSICAL, at The Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival’s development series this past August, I was tremendously encouraged by the audience feedback. People who knew something about America’s first great songwriter and people who didn’t were visibly engaged and moved by Foster’s songs and the story of his tumultuous life and times.

    The musical follows Foster’s life from the late 1840’s (when he had his first big hit, “Oh! Susanna”) to his penniless death in 1864. A story of love and demons, BEAUTIFUL DREAMER is set in the earliest days of American show business, when “professional songwriter” was an oxymoron, and the primary outlets for Stephen Foster’s songs were blackface minstrel shows and sheet music publishers.

    Key characters include Jane McDowell, Foster’s wife and muse, and Joe Collins, a runaway slave with unbelievable dancing skills. Set in a stormy historical period, BEAUTIFUL DREAMER encompasses inescapable racial, social and political themes that resonate today.

    My inspiration for writing the show wasn’t to simply tell the tale of Foster’s life. Through dramatic context, my goal was to cast Foster’s familiar songs, like “Camptown Races,” “My Old Kentucky Home,” and “Swanee River,” in a whole new light, revealing their surprising beauty and depth. I’m also thrilled to employ some astonishing songs from Foster’s catalogue people will be much less familiar with.

    Now, I am hustling to take the show to the next level. (It’s always a hustle, isn’t it?) Moving forward, having the tremendous advantage of thoughtful, knowledgeable script coverage would be an amazing asset. Who knows, Ken? You might even be encouraged to take a look!

  • Tracey says:

    We are a social enterprise theatre company in the UK and are working on a musical called ‘Hooked on Oxford’. Creating the musical has been a roller coaster ride but I would not change it for the world. We would appreciate any advice we could get on the script because we believe that the story and characters are keys to a good musical. We also believe that the audience comes first. Thank you.

  • Debbie Saville says:

    “Heart of Steel” is being put together from a belief that I want to take creative musicians to a new level of performance by creating stage shows around their music.

    With limited resources, the show is progressing, the dream is becoming reality.

    To have an opportunity for this to be looked at during the “draft” version… priceless, as there is no moving forward, until you confidently believe it is ready.

    Having a chance at a script review at this level,I would never have imagined possible 2 years ago when this all began. Thank you for hearing those of us who are starting out.

  • Circus Boys, a musical about the young Ringling Brothers, (before they got really got their act together and took it on the road)
    Working, workshopping in Chicago. Great community but would like to get a NY perspective.

  • I value your opinion. My play has been moving up, getting readings, etc. But the only time I paid $100 to get a professional opinion, I got a brief phone call and one shallow remark, which was, clearly, based on reading the first four pages. So, I would love you to repair my disillusionment. I think you truly love the theater, and that’s the primary quality I’m now
    seeking in a professional reader. Love, knowledge, experience, and good will. I think
    it’s right on the other side of this email.
    Thank you.

  • Jeremy says:

    Last season, I self-produced my musical in the Midtown International Theatre Fest. It went on to be nominated for Outstanding Musical & Outstanding Music & Lyrics. A rep from Davenport was kind enough to attend and said wonderful things about the music, but ultimately passed. As you’ve said in your previous writings, “hear the same thing 3 times and consider it truth”, all constructive/negative(?) reactions point to the book; yet I’ve not gotten an accurate or in-depth assessment of what’s “wrong” or not working with the book. I would love the opportunity to have the show further developed and analyzed through a Davenport treatment. I know that this show has potential and look forward to its continued development. Onward & Upward!

  • For as long as I can remember I have been a storyteller. I vividly remember standing in front of the TV at five years old, watching Boris Karloff as Frankenstein, and marveling at how something so scary could also make me feel so sad. Instinct, even at that young age, took me beyond my imagination and allowed me to look at the actor and how he told the story of his character. My passion for the art was solidified right then.

    I have been fortunate to have always had theatre in my life, and even more fortunate that I have been able to make my living in this business. As an actor, singer, dancer, director, choreographer, and playwright, I have experienced theatre from all sides. And these experiences are what I bring to the stories I create for the stage.

    I believe that, when writing for the theatre, that it is important to write a piece that can only be done in a theatrical setting. There should be a heightening of reality in even the most real of situations we bring to the stage. I work hard to find what elevates a story and makes it worthy of being told. I work hard to make sure that an audience can connect with the story and the characters – even if that connection is not an obvious one.

    We go to the theatre to experience something emotionally. What works in my head or on the page does not necessarily translate to the stage. That’s why it is important to get our words out of the hardrive and into the hands of actors, and directors, and designers, and dramaturgs, and producers so that it becomes possible to see if what we envision truly does work.

    I find being a playwright a lonely venture – in the physical sense. I mean, I am always surrounded by my characters and they make sure that their presence is known – they don’t shy away from that. But, it becomes necessary to share as a playwright – with an audience and with other like-minded (or even not-like-minded) artists. I seek out as many varied opportunities as I can find. I seek out guidance (such as script coverage) to assist me in moving my story forward. I seek out excellence, and relish the moments when I find it. All of this not just part of the process. It is part of the lifeline.

    I would be honored to add your insight to my lifeline.

    Thanks for your support of new work!

    Rob

  • Kellie says:

    I write in final draft and there is a template for broadway musicals. Is there another reference that I should look at as a standard for proper formatting. First impressions are lasting impressions.

  • Roy O'Neil says:

    Pick Laura

  • Tina Montgomery says:

    My writing partner and I finished a new musical and have submitted to awards, theaters, local college drama departments, etc. and getting nowhere and no feedback. Have to admit, we might have issues! Would love honest, professional feedback. Thanks!

  • My writing team and I just finished our first original musical, FOR TONIGHT. We just finished producing a successful first reading in August and since then we’ve done some major script revisions based on what we learned. The next step is to send it out to theaters/festivals, but we would LOVE the opportunity for someone else to read our script before we do that. And it would be even better if it was YOU!

    FOR TONIGHT is based on my great-great-great grandfather, Haydon Parry, who moved to Liverpool in the 1840’s and met and fell in love and then eventually immigrated to America. It’s about love, loss, and wanderlust with a score that is based in indie-rock — something you haven’t heard consistently in the musical theatre canon.

    We feel really strongly that if the right people find our show, and feel as passionate as we do, we will be able to make theatre magic happen!

    If anything, please check out our website: http://www.fortonightmusical.com, and check out a few of the songs that we’ve posted – especially, “Home” and “One Step”.

    I think this is one of the best giveaways I’ve ever seen on this website and thanks for thinking of it!

    Best,
    Spencer

  • Kevin Meoak says:

    I am the producer of a musical with two themes you know and love: a ten year high school reunion, and it’s 1989. Seven Brooklynites try to discover the mystery of a joke shop ring that changed hands multiple times ten years ago. It’s a romantic comedy, very blue humor, and nearly ready to go…but of course the book needs work. I would love some dramaturgical insight to get the authors rolling on the next draft.

  • Ken – thank you for this opportunity. I am not in your league or akin to any your commenters ~ however, if I am to continue my dream, I do need your help. Please consider me the lowermost of today’s candidates, the West Point ‘goat’ if you will, a stayer with a stubborn refusal to give up.
    I’ve written all my life; newspaper columns, articles, blog, etc. Now, I’m giving it my all in an attempt at playwriting and to get any kind of reading with objective comments /creative criticisms. In readings in my playwriting classes, local community actors, as readers, have cried and gotten laughs in all the right places. My goal is to convert my 200 page journal manuscript concerning “gray divorce”, into a one woman plus tragicomedy. I’m divorced, over 65 yrs. old, and getting grayer every day. But maybe I’m also a Grandma Moses waiting to be discovered.

  • Wayne Paul says:

    AFFAIR WITH A FISH. That’s my play’s title. It’s written in the style of “magic realism” occurring in the last “white light” moment of the Protagonist’s life. FISH has placed in a number of competitions,including an “IPF Snapshot” as the single US entry awarded a slot in The Warehouse Theatre’s 25th Annual International Playwrights’ Festival in London. It’s a difficult and challenging piece. An in depth analysis could be of great assistance in thrusting this play where it was intended: on stage, in production. It’s really as simple as that. And who wouldn’t want to see a human size talking fish on stage?

  • Jennifer the Unspecial: Time Travel, Love Potions & 8th Grade. With ingredients like that, how could it not be a musical? I wrote book and lyrics with Cynthia Chi-Wing Wong, whose work has been performed at Carnegie Hall, and professional artists have described Jennifer the Unspecial as “one of the most heartfelt, delightful musicals they’d ever seen”. It’s about four eighth-graders time traveling, and Jennifer, an awkward, clumsy girl who eventually realizes she doesn’t need anyone’s approval to be absolutely amazing and special. It’s been fully produced three times in three years, an NYU workshop, the Caryl Crane Youth Theatre in Ohio, and at the Philadelphia Fringe festival, in its first Equity code production, at a museum in front of an actual Egyptian sphinx. That last production’s fundraising Kickstarter campaign was assisted by two Broadway producers, including a Tony winner for Scottsboro Boys.
    Jennifer the Unspecial is an award winning show–nominated for the Weston Playhouse Demo award, and it won first prize at the 1st Annual Ronald Ruble New Play Festival at Caryl Crane, where it was selected out of 77 plays and musicals for children. What I’m most proud of with that is that the teen board of that theatre were part of that selection process and they, the target audience of Jennifer the Unspecial, gave it all they could give–actually saying, we’ll go on the boards for it and for you. As the winner, it went on to be fully produced that year at Caryl Crane Youth Theatre. In fact, it’s licensed by YouthPLAYS in LA. Is it perfect? No. I think coverage could take it to an even new level. I grit my teeth when I think of certain things I could have done better. But Jennifer the Unspecial does have legs–I still remember the production manager at the NYU workshop production with New Studio on Broadway leaning over to me after the first real run through and telling me, “You’ve got yourself a show.” Forty year olds in the audience have shouted, “8th grade!” during readings. A 60 year old man shouted from the back of the house during one performance, “I know how he feels!” and, most importantly to me, young audiences have laughed, lit up with joy, and danced in their seats.

    We see a young, awkward girl, Jennifer, lost in 8th grade become a radiant young woman.
    She sings in the Finale:
    It’s your moment, it’s your hour
    You can sing or you can cower,
    You can obsess over what others think,
    Or as you stand on the brink,
    You can try, you can fly!

    I dream of hundreds of productions in high schools, teen theatre schools and regional theatres. I dream of it becoming a standard family/holiday show for regional theatres, nothing less. I know an Off-Broadway production will put it on the map to be presented everywhere.

    Please check out the music in the pink player on jennifertheunspecial.com. Just listen to the opening number–Jennifer the Brave/The Dance Friday Night–an opening number right in the middle of 8th grade science class!–and I’m positive you’ll want to hear more.
    Thank you.
    Matt Mezzacappa, MFA Musical Theatre Writing NYU ’10, Bookwriter/Lyricist Jennifer the Unspecial

  • Anita Riggio says:

    Hi Ken,

    Why do I want to win Script Coverage this week? Simple:

    1.) After four years, the script for BRINDLEBEAST, a new musical in song and American Sign Language, is as complete as I can write it without additional feedback.

    2.) My collaborator, composer Sila Shaman and I have just finished the music and lyrics for all twenty original songs.

    3.) This past summer we recorded a 10 song demo featuring the extraordinary talents of Eric Kunze, Emily Robinson, Danielle Lee Greaves and Kathy Voytko, and we are ready to share it with producers and directors.

    4.) BRINDLEBEAST is a completely original work that braids together three story strands: a love story, a story about confronting personal beasts, and a story of the creative process itself. It may also be the ONLY play or musical in the entire theatrical canon that presents the deafness of two of the seven characters as an attribute rather than as a disability.

    5.) We think–we hope, we trust–that we’re good to take BRINDLEBEAST to the reading stage and we would love to have your feedback before we put this script in the hands of our talented actors.

    Pick us! Pick us!

    Best,
    Anita Riggio
    http://www.brindlebeastmusical.com

  • Your blog leapt out at me tonight like a religious intervention!

    I was fortunate enough to get the stage rights to a true story called Stalking the Bogeyman, which was featured on This American Life, and downloaded over 2-million times…

    We just had the world premiere at the North Carolina Stage Company, and now are bringing this new play off-Broadway next year for a commercial open-ended run.

    I have raised $300 of a $500,000 budget, and now I am going back to the script, and want to make sure this adaptation is as great as it can be.
    I have never written a play. I did the adaptation simply because I wanted to direct this piece.
    I was interviewing amazing playwrights, but I kept getting caught of in months of endless negotiations with literary agents.
    During this endless waiting period, I started working with three other writers on the adaptation. And a year and one half later, here we are! I know we have something VERY special, but I also know after the NC production that the script use use a final draft before it’s seen by the New York community. I have heard many opinions, and now I could really use an objective, professional outside eye. I’m too deep in it. I need someone who I trust to take a look. The reaction to the show has been incredible, and yet I know the script need some attention.

    Thank you Ken. I have read and tweeted many of your blogs and I really appreciate your bold / out of the box ideas!

    Thank you!

    Markus Potter
    Artistic Director
    NewYorkRep.org

    Current projects:

    STALKING THE BOGEYMAN
    Based on the true story by David Holthouse
    (Off-Broadway premiere)
    NewYorkRep – off-Broadway,
    New World Stages, 2014

    WHY YOU BEASTING?
    By David Don Miller (World Premiere)
    FringeNYC
    Transferred to Players Theatre-Fringe Encores
    Aug 25-Oct 13th

    STALKING THE BOGEYMAN
    Based on the true story by David Holthouse
    North Carolina Stage Company
    (World Premiere)
    Sept 18-Oct 13th

  • John Fiorillo says:

    My play, “Dancing Backwards”, has won three national competitions and had successful readings in eight cities. Audiences love it and at least five or six people approach me after each reading to tell me “you’ve just told the story of my life”. The play is a story about making a decision to care for a friend that doesn’t want help. The friend is fiercely independent and has a secret — he has Alzheimer’s. It’s an actor’s vehicle and could be terrific for older actors.

    Artistic Directors of NFP theaters with development programs write to tell me they love the play but can’t accept it for development because it’s ready for production. Yet, for some reason, no NFP theater has come forward with a production offer. I want you to read it because it’s never been read by a commercial producer and I’d like to know whether I might have more success with it in the commercial arena, or if there are flaws that would prevent its success there.. I follow your blog and have found you to be a straight shooter, so you’re a natural candidate.

  • Janis says:

    In the midst of the “fly over zone,” I am embroiled in finalizing what I believe to be my most important work. “Song of the Trail” sets a love story in the historic “Trail of Tears.” The musical shows how my Cherokee ancestors found love and joy even in the midst of the disease and death of the horrific trail they were forced to walk from Georgia to Indian Territory.
    I wrote musicals through high school, college and a grad degree in Creative Writing/Playwright option. Dozens of my works have been produced with multiple performances and several awards.
    I am told this is an outstanding piece that not only deserves a greater audience, but could give greater meaning to theater in general.
    Thank you for offering this opportunity. I would certainly appreciate professional advice for finishing it.

  • LA Producer says:

    Was going to make a plea but have only been working on current show for a couple years. Maybe you can do this again next year?

  • Nick Radu says:

    My name is Nick Radu. I started writing a play back in 2007 while working as a venue director at the NYCFringe Fest. I had just graduated from Queens College with a BA in Drama, Theater and Dance and being around all those creative people was incredibly inspiring.

    Well, six years, many rewrites, two staged readings (one at Davenport Studios, so thank you for that!) and lots of blood, sweat and tears later I am pretty close to final draft. I received some great feedback from the last reading, including a follow-up meeting with Josh Deal, story editor of Andrew Lauren Productions. I am currently turning my script, Imaginary, into a screenplay with Malini Singh-McDonald (my co-producer and partner in crime) at Josh’s request.

    I would LOVE for professionals to go over my work and critique it. Writing the screenplay I have been opened up to a whole new world of scenes and action, but the play is so close to my heart and I know it has amazing potential. I don’t want to give up on the play. I believe in it and want to see it and its message brought to the stage and the masses.

    The play is about a 30-something construction worker named Jack who dies in a car accident. Before he can move on to the next phase of existence he must be 8-year-old Molly Hamilton’s Imaginary Friend. Jack hates kids and Molly is a spoiled brat. The two eventually become good friends, Molly’s relationship with her parents improves, Jack’s wife comes into the picture and lots of laughter and tears come into play.

    Thank you for your time and consideration,
    Nick Radu

  • Michelle T Johnson says:

    I would love to get a free script evaluation because I’m a late comer and bloomer to playwriting and am trying to soak up everything like butter on a fresh out of the oven biscuit. In my two years of playwriting, even though I live in Kansas City, I’ve had plays chosen for festivals here in town, as well as in Texas, Connecticut and New York City, including for my second NYC visit this year next week to the New Works Series by Emerging Artists Theater.

    I’ll be 49 next month and I’m working this learning curve like no one’s business. Which is why I subscribe to your email newsletters.

    Pick me, please!

  • Alan L says:

    Ken, with all the great ideas entered above I’m sure that you are going to have a difficult decision to make as to which one you pick! My personal entry is at least a year away so I too hope that you do this “contest” again…

    I talked with you along time ago about my idea for COUNTERCULTURE, a jukebox musical featuring the songs that reflected the changes in America’s social values during the Vietnam War era, but it’s still in it’s infancy. I have complied a list of possible songs that deal with the civil rights movement, the anti-war protests, environmental awareness, women’s rights, and personal freedoms of expression. And I have an idea for how the script might go but until I know exactly which songs can and cannot be used it’s difficult to write the action and words that fall between the songs.

    You may or may not remember but I was going to use a reoccurring ‘Battle of the Bands’ formula in my musical but after talking to you and finding out that you had a musical which was centered around two bands I have sifted my focus to include not only the competition between two bands but it now includes a love triangle and also the changing relationship between a father and his son. All three aspects – the bands, the lovers, and the father/son conflicts – are interwoven with the songs that my generation grew up with. Through the lyrics these songs became our anthems that we talked about, rallied around, marched to, and some even died while supporting the causes they believed in.

    I very much enjoy reading every one of your blogs and do hope that you consider offering the script coverage contest again in the future. In the meantime if there are any writers reading this that would possibly be interested in being a collaborator on my musical please contact me via email: alan.langguth@gmail.com

  • Yvette Heyliger says:

    I wrote a play about Hillary Rodham Clinton a few years back, before the 2008 campaign for Hillary as president was even imagined by the public. The play was ahead of its time. I self-produced the play in two festivals, the Midtown International Theatre Festival (in 2008) and at the National Black Theatre Festival prior to that. Having had a chance to get the play on its feet, these opportunities contributed greatly to the growth of the script. The play was later produced in a very limited run at Gloucester Stage Company (we filled in a space on their calendar).
    A few months back there was talk of the possibility of Meryl Streep playing the role of Hillary Clinton. There was a great snapshot of the two “pals” having fun at a White House reception that accompanied the article. They looked amazingly similar and I said to myself, “Yea I can see that.” When the rumors about Meryl Streep playing Hillary emerged, I thought this might be a chance for my play to have a “real” run somewhere (especially as she may be running for President in 2016!). The timing is perfect.
    Since that time I have worked on the script and feel that it is a very strong contender—but is it ready for Meryl Streep to read? I hope you will select my play for script coverage. I could really benefit from your insight and expertise that will enable me to make any needed adjustments to the script before I begin sending it out.

  • David says:

    I have produced 6 plays in the last five years. All have been well received and well reviewed but none have “broken through” and gotten me a wider audience. Perhaps a thorough examination of what really sells a show by having a professional critique can help me take it to the next level.

  • Alex Rubin says:

    Hello! I’d love the opportunity to hear what the team at Ken Davenport thinks my script needs to move forward. I’ve presented this one act to several private audiences with encouraging responses, but it’s not yet commercially producible. I suck up feedback and information like a sponge and I love to rewrite, I’m just seeking some solid direction: should I develop it into a full two act? Should I market it to educational institutions, retaining the one-act structure? I’m ready to learn and willing to work!

  • Kaeylea VanKeith says:

    Hi Ken, my writing partner Tracy Ryan and I would really value your feedback on our new Irish musical “Sisters!” – a winner of the Musical Theatre Initiative at London’s Theatre Royal Stratford East, August 2013. The feedback we received from the tutors there (faculty members from Tisch musical theatre writing program) catapulted our show into new and amazing directions (rewrites, rewrites!). We are continuously looking for ways to improve and focus the story and would so appreciate your comments!

    “Sisters!” tells the story of Bernadette Boland, a young unmarried mother in 1970’s Catholic Ireland, who finds herself caught up in the tumult that gave birth to the Irish Women’s Liberation Movement – placing her at the crossroads between her traditional upbringing and the growing desire to make her own choices.

  • Keith Clark-Epley says:

    Hi Ken,
    I have co-written a one act play, a comedy based on an actual everyday event here where I live in Palm Springs, California.. My co-writer and myself have been shopping it about and really need a professional opinion in regard to the viability of the play to have the legs to get on stage and not only stand there, but maybe dance awhile in the process!
    Dialog is something we really would appreciate the feed back on. I don’t want it to be static or forced. We feel we have made a great stab at it, but again, every opinion helps.

    Thanks,
    Keith

  • Vicki Vodrey says:

    I desperately want to win this script consultation! You have been a mentor of mine (whether you know it or not!) Having attended “Get Your Show Off The Ground” and getting a consultation, I feel like I’ve learned from your expertise and have tried to put the knowledge I’ve gained into practice. I have several new script that I think have great potential. In a very small way, I’ve tried to follow your footsteps, both writing and producing my own work. This would be invaluable to me in trying to get to that next level with limited funds. Geez, theatre is expensive! Anyway, I’m hoping this latest script gets me to the next step – I certainly keep trying! Thanks Ken for your insightful blog and all the help you’ve given us fledgling producers!

    Thanks!
    Vicki

  • Paul Argentini says:

    It was my great and wonderful fortune to have the late Bill Gibson as a tennis buddy for about thirty years or so. Tennis was tennis, but on the walk to his pool playwriting would sneak in. “Playwriting is like crossing a desert in search of water,” he would say. Most playwrights can do everything a playwright does except one thing, he’d say, and that is tell you what is not working in what they have written. It is imperative the creator fault his own work.
    That was daunting to hear, but made me happy I preferred to tell stories in novels. “Try a play,” he suggested. I did. First shot out of the booth I was awarded a playwriting fellowship by the Artists Foundation. I came upon all the words and worries all playwrights know, like rising action, foreshadowing, sub-text.
    I became aware of the reason playwriting is the most difficult art form in the world. I persevered and was delighted when I won Bill’s approbation for an ingredient I worked to put in my novels. I call it the scend of the story. Bill passed just after he was elected to the Broadway Hall of Fame. He cautioned the scend could be too fragile and re-re-re-writing could eliminate it, and would I know it if I did?
    In THE FRAGILE POINT, a two-character-1m, 1f–(shades of Bill?) one set, full-length contemporary play the scend of the play tells the audience exactly what will happen at the last two minutes of the play, but, yet, the ending comes to the audience as an absolute shocking conclusion.
    After some rewriting I felt necessary,I believe the scend of the play remains in full force.
    Only an expert can tell.
    With Bill not around, Ken, I’m asking for your help.
    Thank you for this opportunity and for reading this comment.

  • Alexa says:

    (sub)Text is based on an idea I got from your blog incorporating personal technology into the theater watching experience. I’ve spent so much time building the marketing/techno piece that I’m worried that I’m getting too far away from the story. I would love script coverage to help with the balance of concept and substance.

  • KM says:

    Sometimes when you’re stuck on a problem it helps to take a different path home from work, call up an old friend, go see a therapist or even have a spontaneous conversation with a random stranger. Just when you think you know all the answers, have done all you can and thought of everything something sneaks up from behind, whispers in your ear and initiates a little spark to create a shift to open a new door. So, can I get some script coverage… please?

  • Noemi says:

    My composer and I finished a first draft of a musical comedy about illegal immigration. We would really appreciate getting the feedback. The music is latin/pop/gospel, and it’s based on the true story of a Princeton Undergrad who was an illegal immigrant, and got a Rhodes Scholarship to study Classical Greek and Latin in Oxford. And that’s just the beginning….

  • David Mey says:

    My play “The Promised Land” has had two professional readings at Equity theatres, and I feel like we are circling around our first production – and I’m really hoping the feedback we’d receive from Davenport could help put us over the edge.

    I’m not simply sitting on the sidelines and hoping that someone will hand me a break. Like you, I believe that opportunities come through a combination of hard work, opportunity, and luck.

    I’ve got the hard work part down. I’ve written five 10-minute plays in the past three months alone, and will have three different plays performed in three different states in October. I was also recently named a finalist for the SohoRep Writer/Director Lab. I participate in numerous playwriting groups, and also seek to help newer playwrights by giving feedback and “coverage” of my own whenever asked for advice.

    I had a reading off-Broadway at Abingdon Theatre Co. last winter that we invited Davenport Theatrical to, and I’d be thrilled to finally share my work with your office.

    To me, this site is all about taking your career into your own hands, and making your own opportunities. So I’m taking my risk; I’m putting myself on your “line.”

  • Kerry Zukus says:

    Ken, I’m a full-time professional/published/agented author/ghostwriter of over 45 books and novels. I started out as a wannabe singer-pianist only to discover (at Berklee College of Music in Boston) that I was (a) the world’ worst pianist, (b) a mediocre singer, but (c) a burgeoning talent as a songwriter. How this got me into book publishing is too long a story, but I have this musical … And it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

    A while back you mentioned that TV has never really been used as source material for a musical and you wondered why. I’ve asked the same question for years. I believe it’s the next frontier.

    If you’re interested in reading a musical based on a famous television show, here it is. I’d love your feedback.

  • Fran says:

    I would love you to read my play. It’s an adaptation of Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut. (Yes, I have permission.)

    I want your objective voice on how to further develop and market my play. A novel has the advantage of being in many locations with a cast of thousands. Play-wise, the locations are minimal, but I’ve got a cast of 8 or 9, with doubling. The only consistent negative comment I get is the cast size. Help!!!

    I did see Stones in Their Pockets, a cast of thousands performed by 2 people, but I don’t think that works here. Again, Help!

    Background:
    I produced a staged reading of the play in 2004. Booking performance space in advance, I didn’t know it would end up being the same day/eve as the final episode of Friends. Very hard to attract an audience.

    I belonged to a playwrighting group at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor for 2 years. During that time, Mother Night was further developed/edited. The result, I believe, is a well-paced, interesting story. All my explorations/edits also led to 2 companion pieces. So Mother Night is now a trilogy.

    Here’s a brief synopsis of the project:

    Mother Night is about good and evil, and asks the question – is it ok to be bad for a common good? It’s an uneasy and unsettling thought that Campbell needs to resolve for himself before a public trial for World War II war crimes. He does so by reexamining key events in his adult life.

    The play’s also about love. The ‘Nation of Two’ Cambell creates with his wife insulates him from a world gone mad. When Campbell’s wife dies, that buffer is gone. Was he good, was he bad? All Campbell knows is he’s alone.

    By the way, there was a movie of the book in 1996 starring Nick Nolte and John Goodman.

    Well, I hope this has caught your interest.
    Pick me!!!

  • anita simons says:

    Our play HEARTLAND tells the story of what can happen when fear and prejudice pit neighbor against neighbor in times of war and is based on true stories of numerous arrests of German-American families during World War II. HEARTLAND has won rave reviews by theatre professionals and audiences alike because it dramatizes a dark period of American history of which most Americans are not aware; yet it does so without being didactic. Rather, it invites audiences into the kitchen of an ordinary American family where global events play out in a very personal way. HEARTLAND is very relevant today in that it highlights prejudice against a cultural minority that is part of the fabric of America. A documentary film on the production history of HEARTLAND won the best student film at the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema held in 2010. The trailer can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Z3yyhajij8

    I see HEARTLAND as a musical and with the arrival of ALLEGIANCE to Broadway, I think we have a more compelling and untold story. I have invited Doug Katsaros to work his creative magic and write the music and co-write lyrics for what we see as a wonderful, new and enlightening musical. Before we take that next step, we need Ken Davenport to eye-ball our project and tell us if he sees the same thing we see.
    I’ve read the other postings and many are worthy projects, but rather than help a youngster, please help some “oldsters” who have an excellent track record and need that extra push to get us out of the gate and onto the musical stage for others to enjoy.

  • Lauren says:

    We are young, motivated, and passionate about the story we’re telling. We’ve overcome juggling multiple day jobs, 2000 miles of physical distance, and producing fully staged excerpts with no money in service of this show we truly believe in. After several years and countless drafts, the script is ready to be shared. We’ve had some great responses and buzz – see below – but focused attention and feedback is exactly what we need right now. Thank you for your consideration.

    Rafael Casal’s THE LIMP is a contemporary examination of the relationship between love and male identity, told by three components of the psyche in conversation with each other and themselves. Set in a 20-something’s living room minutes before a date arrives, a conversation between four roommates snowballs into a hilarious, philosophical and violent portrayal of how men of the millennial generation experience the big L word and all that surrounds it.

    “Chris Rock meets Spalding Gray … a nice balance between poignancy and hilarity, provocation and irony.” – Roko Kawai, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

    “An incisive glimpse inside the male mind … a compelling meditation on the confusion and disillusion of the modern guy.” – San Francisco Chronicle

  • Lauren says:

    We are young, motivated, and passionate about the story we’re telling. We’ve overcome juggling multiple day jobs, 2000 miles of physical distance, and producing fully staged excerpts with no money in service of this show we truly believe in. After several years and countless drafts, the script is ready to be shared. We’ve had some great responses and buzz – see below – but focused attention and feedback is exactly what we need right now. Thank you for your consideration.

    Rafael Casal’s THE LIMP is a contemporary examination of the relationship between love and male identity, told by three components of the psyche in conversation with each other and themselves. Set in a 20-something’s living room minutes before a date arrives, a conversation between four roommates snowballs into a hilarious, philosophical and violent portrayal of how men of the millennial generation experience the big L word and all that surrounds it.

    “Chris Rock meets Spalding Gray … a nice balance between poignancy and hilarity, provocation and irony.” – Roko Kawai, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

    “An incisive glimpse inside the male mind … a compelling meditation on the confusion and disillusion of the modern guy.” – San Francisco Chronicle

  • Lauren says:

    We are young, motivated, and passionate about the story we’re telling. We’ve overcome juggling multiple day jobs, 2000 miles of physical distance, and producing fully staged excerpts with no money in service of this show we truly believe in. After several years and countless drafts, the script is ready to be shared. We’ve had some great responses and buzz – see below – but focused attention and feedback is exactly what we need right now. Thank you for your consideration.

    Rafael Casal’s THE LIMP is a contemporary examination of the relationship between love and male identity, told by three components of the psyche in conversation with each other and themselves. Set in a 20-something’s living room minutes before a date arrives, a conversation between four roommates snowballs into a hilarious, philosophical and violent portrayal of how men of the millennial generation experience the big L word and all that surrounds it.

    “Chris Rock meets Spalding Gray … a nice balance between poignancy and hilarity, provocation and irony.” – Roko Kawai, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

    “An incisive glimpse inside the male mind … a compelling meditation on the confusion and disillusion of the modern guy.” – San Francisco Chronicle

  • J.C. Schütz says:

    Dear Ken,

    I’ve been reading your blog and newsletter for quite some time now, and you may remember that when you were going to Tokyo for “Altar Boyz”, I offered to show you my favorite bar and tell you about my latest musical…
    I am, now, very Thankful that you didn’t have the chance to see me at that time, as I later restructured the whole thing and rewritten the last 30 minutes, after two readings and additional feedback.

    Your experienced and objective opinion was something I would have really valued and appreciated, and it would at the same time have given me a chance to thank you for everything I had already learned from you.
    I’ve already received two grants for developing the story, which tells of a timeless love in modern hard times. The music is very dramatic and melodic, and an amazing West-End actress agreed to sing on a concept album we’re currently working on, just after hearing a few of the songs, so the story and music seem to appeal to people.

    Finally, another musical I’ve co-written ran this summer in Sweden, but not until the “endless” standing ovation after the premiere performance, I knew we had written a good show. Part of that success was thanks to what I had already learnt from you. I hope that I now, finally, with your help can learn to improve my writing even more, and before I know it, even get the chance to stage my things in America!

  • Michael Andreas says:

    Our musical is based on Gypsy Rose Lee’s other great book.

  • Rogelio says:

    You made some decent points there. I checked on the web to learn more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website.

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Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

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