In reading through the Dramatists Sourcebook for the right theater companies to submit my play, I have seen that a number of companies prefer producing scripts with African-American, Latino, and Asian-American themes. Additionally, a number of companies hope to produce plays that have “non-urban” themes, or a “Midwestern tone”, or themes that deal with the break down of gender stereotypes and, more importantly, homosexuality.

My current play I’m submitting (and pretty much everything else I write) consists of straight, white people living in New York City.

Truth be told, I’m white, straight, and from New York City, and as the old saying goes, “write what you know.” But I started to think, should I have some black, Latino, transgendered homosexuals from Alabama in my scripts?

And then I started to think – do I want that character in my script because I think it will:

  • Improve my script?
  • Make my script more sellable?
  • Make me feel better about my lack of non-white urban heteros?

I considered changing one of the characters to black. For no good reason.

A few years ago, when I lived in LA, a friend of mine was one of the script readers for a theater company there. Perfect situation, right? Only thing is, they wanted plays that had gay people in them. My play, at the time, had a gay person as one of the leads. Only problem was, he kind of represented the devil in my story of good and evil. (Note to the reader who likes to read between the lines: This was, of course, accidental, and had nothing to do with any negative feeling or judgment toward homosexuals)

Needless to say, I did not submit to her theater company.