This has been a momentous week, with this website getting its 10,000th visitor. Huge appreciation to anyone who gave the time to come visit since 2017. At the end of the day, the target has always been drama and theatre groups, publishers and on the off-chance, filmmakers and producers. I’m not sure I’ve hit my intended audience yet and that’s where I hope this website goes from here. To this end, I’m trying to come up with an improved social media strategy. This apparently means you cannot be modest about what you do. This is proving a big challenge mentally for me. So, in advance, apologies for any tone of arrogance. I also welcome any advice that will help me promote my work.
As I writer, my main aim is not monetary. Instead, it is to bring meaningful and entertaining stories to as many people as possible. There have been so many false dawns in this business. Just when you think you have broken into the drama and theatre groups circle, it all disappears. I was really chuffed during Covid when Barnstorm Theatre from Kilkenny included my Love In Lockdown contribution, the Power of Love in its 2021 lockdown streaming shows. Feedback was wonderful. Again, so when it was included in the live performances at the Home Rule Club in 2022. I am really appreciative of all those involved in Barnstorm who made it happen, the directors, and all the actors. So chuffed with the end product on both occasions. I thought it might be the beginning of a fantastic run. However, almost a year after the live performances, there has been no follow up. Like so many times in the past, the dawn was false.
NEVER GIVE UP
I know that despite so many past disappointments, it is not in my nature to give up. I must keep trying. Let’s be honest, as I head towards retirement I am probably only coming into my peak as a Writer. The best is yet to come, but I would like to see a clear runway before I really take off!
I find it very demoralising when I see all the local theatre and drama groups going with the same old same old. How often when it comes to selecting a play do they pick an old John B Keane or a “Playboy of the Western World” or a Brian Friel or a Walter Macken? If the audience saw the same show being constantly repeated on television, they would quickly tune out and look for a new channel with new material. They’d wonder why their audience is not growing when it is simple… They have seen it before!
They are also setting themselves up for comparison with previous efforts at the same scripts and production that have been produced over and over again. In addition, how do these constant repeats attract new people to the theatre? There needs to be new audience members, and not have all the young people drawn away by the lure of the CGI of Marvel and DC comics where the story is secondary. I would say for local drama groups it is getting harder and harder to get people involved especially young people. They need plays they can relate to. You can still have old, but the material needs to be fresh. Again if it were movies on television, it is very hard to get young people to watch a black and white movie, regardless of how good it is. We all know there are some really brilliant black and white movies, But that doesn’t mean young people will watch them. For theatre you need to get them in the door first. Sometimes, that could be as simple as picking material from a new local writer (who might even be known in other fields, such as the GAA). This is a category I would fit into in the South-East of Ireland. The story is very important, and I love the story. It’s number one for me. I am a traditionalist, but new at the same time. A paradox I know, but that’s what I am.
DRAMA AND THEATRE GROUPS
Therefore, if YOU are involved in a drama or theatre group and looking for material, please check out my scripts (link below). I have full, one-act and short in my library. Really would love to hear from anyone in the South East of Ireland, especially County Kilkenny or South Tipperary and Waterford for that matter. I have some really good locally based material that is just crying out for a local performance. I would also welcome interest from the USA, with a few historical plays based in the USA. Take a Chance, have a read. Plays are only a collection of words until they are brought to life and performed. Give the stories life. You can do it! Give it a chance!