New Dramatist's Writers' Benefit Raises $6,100 and a Dozen New Plays

News   New Dramatist's Writers' Benefit Raises $6,100 and a Dozen New Plays The New Dramatists' Annual Writers' Benefit on Feb. 12 was deemed a success by its organizers, netting $6,100 for the refurbishing of the outfit's library. The money was collected in a distinctive manner well in keeping with the New Dramatists' character. The services of roughly a dozen dramatists were auctioned off during the evening. Winning bidders then commissioned a short play on the spot, which the wordsmiths immediately composed, rehearsed with actors and presented to the benefit crowd.

The New Dramatists' Annual Writers' Benefit on Feb. 12 was deemed a success by its organizers, netting $6,100 for the refurbishing of the outfit's library. The money was collected in a distinctive manner well in keeping with the New Dramatists' character. The services of roughly a dozen dramatists were auctioned off during the evening. Winning bidders then commissioned a short play on the spot, which the wordsmiths immediately composed, rehearsed with actors and presented to the benefit crowd.

Among the playwrights up for auction were Doug Wright (Quills), David Lindsay-Abaire (Fuddy Meers), Erik Ehn, Ruth Margraff, Edwin Sanchez and Mac Wellman.

Wellman was the first "lot" to be bid upon, earning $190. The top money earners were sometimes surprising. Octavio Solis, participating via e mail from California, won a bid of $675.

Most of the resulting plays ran 15 minutes or so. An original musical piece by Karen Hartman and Kim Sherman proved a popular favorite. And Wright took a tip from his surrounding, writing a self-referential comic piece about a conference between a playwright and patron who has commissioned a short play at a benefit.

Other playwrights, including Neena Beber and David Greenspan, spent the evening writing valentines and love letters for a fee. — By Robert Simonson