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First meeting notes

Five playwrights met on February 3, 2010 to talk about what good there might be in having a playwrights' group in Lowell to serve writers in northern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. The conversation was energetic and supportive, and we tossed a number of good ideas around.

Here are the key points that I noted:
  • The group is open to anyone with an interest in writing for performance. That would include playwrights, script writers for television or movies, monologists, and possibly slam poets and stand-up comedians.
  • While the group is not restrictive by geography, the intention is to attract writers in the Merrimack Valley area.
  • The main purpose of the group is to do table readings of members' plays, and to provide creative feedback to the playwrights. With that in mind, we welcome "problem" scripts, where the writer knows that the script is not ready for performance, but cannot figure out how to bring the script to the next level of excellence.
  • Members are invited to welcome feedback, and to try to avoid taking it too personally. The feedback is about the script as presented, not about the playwright (and not about the ideal state of the script as it exists inside the playwright's head).
  • Members are very interested in getting productions, and the group will look to establish some production opportunities for members' plays.
  • The group will meet monthly until June, 2010, on the first Wednesday evening of each month, at 7 pm. In June we will evaluate the experience to date and decide how to continue in the coming year.
  • The space we are using (a rehearsal room in "The Space" recording studio at Western Avenue Studios) has a rental fee. Members will be expected to contribute toward the fee, and possibly toward other running costs of the group. Nobody will be required to contribute beyond his or her means.
  • The group's name is Merrimack Valley Playwrights, or "MVP", or I suppose "MVPlay".
  • Andrew Wetmore will serve for now as the group convener.
As the group evolves it will of course be necessary from time to time to establish or modify its running rules. However, I think these points give a sense of what the group will be trying to do.