Anne Hamilton/Hamilton Dramaturgy


BCWJ Article – Writing in the Winter

Here is the link to my latest Bucks County Women’s Journal Article.

http://bit.ly/StageFebMar15  

Writing in the Winter

By Anne M. Hamilton, MFA

I find it very easy to be creative when it’s very cold or very hot outside. I consider myself lucky to live in a four season climate, where I can experience the changing temperatures as well as the differences in light, which stimulate my senses.

This winter, my muse has been working overtime and I’ve completed a new full-length play as well as a 10-minute play and some poetry.

Something about extreme weather inspires me to delve deeply into my imagination and my emotions, and pull out whatever has gotten stuck there, or happens to be emerging into consciousness. I try to go with the flow, and harness my body’s natural rhythms, rather than fighting them by struggling to write, for instance, a comedy or a drama.

As a practice, I stop what I’m doing and sit down to write whenever I am struck by the muse, which I experience as a phrase, or a scene in my head that I can simply write down. For me, it is like going into a meditative state and transcribing the scene that is occurring to me.

For those who are new to playwriting, or are fine-tuning their writing process, it is possible to gradually train the mind to reveal its stories. This can be done by sitting silently for as little as fifteen minutes at a time, and writing down what appears in the mind’s eye. Then the time can be lengthened. It is useful to look over the writing on a regular basis and try to find a pattern that can be made into a monologue or a short play.

I think that it is very important for a playwright to give herself time to go into “the deep mind” as I call it – a meditative form of reflection which allows hidden gems to emerge.

By nurturing my creative spirit and enabling my imagination to leap in its own direction, I am building a pathway for fluent expression.

(c) 2015

Anne Hamilton has 24 years of experience as a dramaturg. She is available for script consultations and career advising through hamiltonlit@hotmail.com. Her play WHO’S ANDY WARHOL? was performed at The Lost Theatre in London in October, 2014. She will teach a playwriting workshop at the Philadelphia Writers Conference in June 12-14, 2015.



Blogger Posts on Playwrighting Success Stories

Playwright and  Journalist Donna Hoke is offering a terrific series featuring interviews with literary managers from all over the country. She calls it the Real Inspiration for Playwrights Project (RIPP).  Brava, Donna!

You can find it at: http://blog.donnahoke.com/category/ripp/

Excerpt: “Playwrights talk a lot about how to get plays in the hands of those who will read them, and lamenting the seeming impossibility of this task. And yet… if it were truly impossible, would we keep writing? Would we keep submitting day in and day out? We must believe that even if the odds are slim, there are indeed odds. Odds that are not insurmountable. Odds that lead to success stories.  So I went looking for them. More than that, I found them…”



Beth Blickers on When to Approach an Agent

Beth gave some great advice on the LMDA listserv today and I just had to repost it. Thank you so much, Beth!

“If you’ve only written one play and it hasn’t been produced then it is decidedly too soon to look for an agent. And bear in mind that once an agent passes on repping you, you go into their database of people to whom they have said no. And I know for a fact that at some agencies that database is shared within the department. Meaning if you get told no by one agent and approach a different agent two years later, they look you up and you can wind up getting passed on again without being read afresh.

The strongest moment to reach out to agents is when something nationally recognized is happening in your career, when you’ve built of fan base of people who know agents and can speak highly of you and when you are starting to bring in some income so they aren’t working entirely for free. At this point you’ll probably have met some agents in passing at theaters and panels, you’ll probably have worked with some directors who have agents (and are easy ways to get introductions), you’ll have artistic directors and literary managers who will make introductions on your behalf. And I hope you will have talked to represented artists about who they are with, who they know, who they like and why they like them, what agents are actually able to do for them, how they work well together (or don’t), so that you can thoughtfully talk with some agents and make a choice and work together happily for many decades to come.

Don’t (and I’m sure every literary manager will second this list) send us a play you have never heard out loud, even if it’s just in your living room. Don’t tell me about the 22 full length plays, 78 one acts and 592 sonnets you’ve written. Don’t list all of the famous people you know if they’ve never done a thing to further your career. Don’t tell me you’ve been produced by a theater when it was a one night event. Be honest and straightforward. I’d rather a fairly empty resume with a genius cover note then a dazzling array of information that when I start to pick at it, falls apart like dust. And trust me, we check. If you tell me a theater is strongly considering your play I WILL ask that theater about it. And 99 times out of 100 the “strong consideration” means the writer sent them the play that week. Makes the writer look bad to me and the theater.

Do network like mad, go to new play festivals, offer people a mid afternoon iced latte in exchange for an informational meeting, Google theaters, have a website, befriend writers and directors, invest energies in things other than theater, be interested in the world around you and be an interesting person yourself. Know what makes you unique and what you have to offer to the world of theater. The other day I chastised theaters who respond to queries about what they are looking for in a play with “good writing.” I’d say the same to any artist. If I ask you want you want to do in the theater please don’t tell me “write good plays and work with good people.” It tells me nothing about what makes YOU special. And if you don’t know what makes you special why do I care? To quote the great Liz Engleman “why this play, now.” I’d expand that and say agents are asking daily “why this writer, now.” The best writers have an answer. And my goodness they are a delight to represent.”

Beth Blickers is currently an agent at Abrams Artists Agency, where she represents such writers, composers, directors and choreographers for theatre, television and film. Before joining Abrams, she was an agent at Helen Merrill Ltd. and the William Morris Agency, where she began work after graduating from New York University.



About Anne

Anne Hamilton has over twenty years of experience in New York City, across the nation, and internationally. The Founder of Hamilton Dramaturgy, she has consulted with Lynn Nottage, Andrei Serban, the Joseph Papp Public Theater, the Harold Prince Musical Theatre Institute, Michael Mayer, Classic Stage Company, Jean Cocteau Repertory Theater, Leslie Lee, Deborah Gregory, Andrew Barrett, the New York City Public Library’s Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, the University of Iowa Playwrights’ Workshop, and Warren Bodow.

Her clients have gone on to win the Pulitzer Prize, the MacArthur “Genius” Award, the Tony Award, a Royal Court International Residency, and several national playwrighting awards.

She worked for James Lipton (host and producer, INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO) for three years as the academic advisor to the graduate students and faculty at The Actors Studio Drama School in NYC. The Bogliasco Foundation of New York City and Bogliasco, Italy awarded her a fellowship in recognition of her personal contribution to the American theatre. She studied the philosophy of aesthetics at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford University and was a NYSCA auditor.

Hamilton is a graduate of Columbia University School of the Arts and holds dual citizenship in the United States and Italy. She is available for consultations in script development, production dramaturgy, and career development, through her website at www.hamiltonlit.com. Anne is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America, Inc.(DGA, www.dramatistsguild.com), Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA, www.lmda.org) and is the Co-Secretary of the League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW, www.theatrewomen.org).

You may contact Anne at hamiltonlit@hotmail.com or at Hamilton Dramaturgy, 215-536-1074.

Anne Hamilton, Dramturg and Playwright