Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Play's the Thing

When I’m not writing murder mysteries, I write plays. If you think getting a book published is challenging, try getting a play produced. My latest play, The Christmas Visitor, was a finalist in the Solano Repertory Theater Playwriting Contest, won honorable mention in the McLaren Comedy Playwriting Contest, and made the Top 100 of 2008 in Readers Digest. Now, it has finally garnered a first. I just received word that it won the contest sponsored by the Jewel Box Theater in Oklahoma City, an organization that has been doing theater there for over fifty years. But will it be produced? Maybe. Winning the contest means it is one of the plays considered for the next season. But now that I have a book in print, I saw a way to use the play to promote the book. The Jewel Box will announce the winning play at some kind of a gala on May 15th. Almost all the entrants each year are from other places, so they don’t expect the winner to be present for the event. They offered to mail me the plaque and the check. But I thought about the Oak Tree Authors’ Creed: Pursue Shameless Self-Promotion. So I contacted the leading bookstore in Oklahoma City, and because I won the Jewel Box contest, they were willing – indeed, anxious – to have me do a book signing. The fact that there will be publicity paid for by the Theater no doubt helped. Of course I’ll have to pay my own way to Oklahoma, but the travel will be a small fraction of the prize money, funds which I didn’t even know I’d have until yesterday.

Mike Orenduff

p.s., concerning that creed, do any of you have any connections with a theater group interested in producing a Christmas comedy?


BillieJohn said...

Mike...this is all so fabulous! Congratulations!

There is a little theatre here in Central IL in a town called Sullivan...I think the name is "Little Theatre on the Square in Sullivan" ...not kidding! They keep things simple here!!

Anyway, I wonder if they might consider your play, since your publisher is just down the road a piece (that is an official measure of distance here, along with "a ways" and "a long ways". Oh, I am too snarky today!

Anyway, it's something to consider.


F. M. Meredith, author said...

I used to write plays when I was a kid--I admire the fact that you are doing it now!

If you want to know what the L.A. Times Book Festival is like--or some of the famous writers I've met--do take a peek at my blog. http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com or just scroll down to the convenient link that says Marilyn's Musings.

F.M. Meredith a.k.a. Marilyn