Dramatists Guild National Conference, La Jolla

So, it's been about a week since the Dramatists Guild Third National Conference in La Jolla, California, #writechange and my mind is still reeling. There is no way to properly describe the sheer volume of information that has been lodged in my brain. No way to describe how over this past week, I've been striving to utilize it all and present myself in a more professional, and more visible manner. The sheer number of things I didn't know I didn't know, and which I'm still trying to wrangle under my control, is astounding.

It started simply enough with "Building Community: San Diego Playwrights" and thank you to SDPlaywrights for opening the door into how to connect a little better and how to network on a local basis. This was followed by the an amazing one-on-one with John Logan. It's hard to express how great it is to hear things you keep trying to tell yourself coming out of the mouth of someone so prestigious. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.

From panels such as "Writing Wrongs" which focused on writing to/with underserved communities such as inmates underage and older, to genital mutilation in Africa, to "Gender and Sexuality on Stage," there was a lot be inspired about.

On the other hand, there were so many panels on practical things like the New Play Exchange which opens a new avenue by which new plays might be discovered, to an in-depth discussion on the Playwright's Bill of Rights, and basic negotiation tactics presented by David Faux, that... my head is going to explode.

One important issue that was presented was "The Count," an in-depth study on Gender Disparity in the theatre, the results of which boggle the mind. (here's a good review) Of all the plays that were staged in first class productions, only 22% were written by woman playwrights. Who knows if that even begins to talk of characters presented and women cast, in all walks of race or gender. It is quite a discussion on how an industry so often forward thinking, can yet also be far behind.

But finally, being there for a celebration of former DG president and epic composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz was incredible. The honor of being to hear some of the earlier iterations of "The Wizard and I" from the musical "Wicked" gave me a wonderful glimpse into a form of the art that I will never have the capacity for.

This was my first time attending a conference of this magnitude as it relates to my field, and I'm hoping that that which has inspired me so far is only the beginning.

Here's to the future, my friends.