Playwright Agents

dramatists' agents

So what do operatives do for dramatists? For the artist they are representing, the agents' dealings are often a riddle. Any young author crawls to find a picture, but once he has found it, it can be difficult to find out what the asset is actually doing. Our clients include David Mamet, Tracy Letts, David Ives and Maury Yeston as well as young authors such as Hansol Jung and Michael R. Jackson.

So what are the basics that an asset does for authors? The introduction of a dramatist and a work to the drama world is one of the fundamental things you do. CHL-Copelman: Often operatives are included in the work' s evolution and find those theaters - whether they are literature manager or art director - that react to the voices of a particular author.

So, it' s the communication with these people, to know what they want to put into their seasons or their programmes of evolution, and then to be really very helpful for authors who are chosen for these programmes. These programmes go far beyond a particular theater, to the Sundance Institute, which exists specifically for them.

What do you think of new authors? It is a subject that has a great deal to do with the exchanges and interactions with other drama performers, developing organisations and other people. Kopelman: There's not much secretiveness because we are able to compete as operatives and we all try to make these attacks.

A literature manger could say: "I have just seen a really interesting young author, and I think you could really react to it. There are five different operatives who can all interpret the same piece, and not every individual will have the same answer. Kopelman: You know, whenever you say, "Here are the rules," you come with someone who doesn't follow them.

I and one of the other operatives here were asked to see the work of an actor/author at NYU. She wrote a piece. And one way the game has changed is for performers to be wiser. So there is this exchange of performers looking for agencies at an early stages of evolution, and the contest among the agencies to subscribe write.

Kopelman: I always say: "You don't know everyone I know, and I don't know everyone you know. It is one of the things we discuss with our customers that you have to be a self-starter. How is the part of an asset different for an aspiring author than for a mid-career author? Now, you don't have to go through the preparatory work with the incumbent authors.

When I call Lynne Meadow and say: "David Ives has a new piece, do you want to see it?", that's not a problemat. Kopelman: We are lucky to have many customers we have been representing for more than 20 years. Are you encouraging dramatists to write for TV?

I think we like a writer who goes on TV. Kopelman: We work very close with our L.A. counterparts, so there is a truly smooth switch. Kopelman: I' m not sure if I fully approve. There are certain victims, I think, but there are other artists' votes that come out on TV that I think are quite substantive.

I think there's something on TV as good as anything I've ever known. Kopelman: You speak specifically commercially. Kopelman: Well, more and more comes from the non-profit industry, which is great because they can enforce everything. What is the last new, inventive piece that was just made on Broadway?

So what are some things you wish an artist knows what an agent does? Kopelman: There are authors who want to know every single times you have entered their piece and every single times you have overheard it. I have said to several authors over the years: "If I told you every single times I handed in your piece and every single times I got rejected, I wouldn't have enough work.

As my supervisor Flora Roberts said: "Customers don't really know what people do. Recalling a time when she was looking at the skies after receiving the poor reviews of another dramatist in the Times, I said: "My customers aren't doing theirjobs. I have a long-standing customer who is marvelous and he says: "Please, my sp? rt speaks.

There are those customers who have trouble confiding in the agent to deal both with the shop, and they are crossing the line in terms of running the shop. I' d like all customers to have a little more confidence in the whole procedure.

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