Paying struggling playwrights for all of their work

image of interior of Playwrights Horizons theater
Playwrights Horizon, 416 W 42nd St, NYC, is an off-Broadway theater producing works by contemporary American writers.composers and lyricists.

If you win an Oscar, movie stars can ask for more money the next time they land a role. Right? If you are a playwright and you win a Pulitzer Prize, how does your world — and bank account — change? Maybe not so much.

According to an article in today’s NYTimes, on average, American playwrights earn $25,000 to $39,000 annually from their endeavors and 62 percent of them earn less than $40,000. Ouch!

Sure, if their shows move to Broadway, becomes hits, tour the country and get made into movies, millions of dollars may be made. But how often does that happen. And, of course, there’s always grants, including the McArthur Foundation “genius Grants” for hundreds of thousand dollars. Again, these are rare events.

image of interior of Playwrights Horizons theater
Playwrights Horizon, 416 W 42nd St, NYC, is an off-Broadway theater producing works by contemporary American writers.composers and lyricists.

Some theaters are trying to change the age-old model of how playwrights get paid to produce work for their companies. Playwrights Horizon, a nonprofit off-Broadway theater in NYC which produced the world premieres of recent Pulitzer winners “The Flick” and “Clybourne Park,” is featured.

Click here to read the eye-opening piece.

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