I've been writing essays about playwriting since the '80's, when as Cleveland Public Theatre's Director of New Plays I was frequently invited to speak at writer's conferences. For years my advice to playwrights appeared in Ohio Writer, a regional writers' journal. That work has since been reprinted all over: in books, newsletters, national magazines, and on various theatre web sites.
Now those essays on craft and business issues have been collected in Practical Playwriting, available from Herone Press. Here's a look at some sample chapters:
Table of Contents
an introduction to genre
why TV conventions make for deadly theater
the magic secrets of sequence
using props and embodying characters
special problems of semi-autobiographical plays
dealing with writing blocks
stage metaphors and actions
why controversy rears its head
a literary manager's advice on avoiding the out pile
arranging to hear a play out loud
post-play discussions that work
pros and cons of do-it-yourself
learning how theatres pick plays
getting your plays around the world
books, journals, organizations, and links
ORDER THE BOOK
"Linda Eisenstein has been there and done it all. In Practical Playwriting she distills a career's worth of hard-earned knowledge into a brisk, penetrating and useful guide to the thoroughfares and back alleys of the playwright's world. This book is a timely gem: a godsend for the novice, and a wise and witty ally for the veteran."
- Scott Kanoff, former Literary Manager/Resident Director, Cleveland Play House
"Practical Playwriting updates the wise and the clueless (such as me) re: The Things They Never Taught You In School, which, were I teaching playwriting again, I would paste to my left thigh for crib sheets (and send it along to all former playwriting students with an OOOPS on the envelope.)"
- Dianne Sandau, International Center for Women Playwrights
"An absolute gem! Clear, concise, insightful,witty, and *extremely useful*."
- Dori Appel, author of "Girl Talk", Ashland (OR) Writer's Conference
Excerpts of PRACTICAL PLAYWRITING have appeared in many places. Here are a few: