The idea for Island Playwrights germinated in San Francisco in the winter of 2012/13. I was boat sitting a yacht in Alameda and trying to find out what was going on in the performing and visual arts in the Bay area. My introduction to fog city came in the form of a downtown walking tour. The guide turned out to be AJ Davenport, a local actress. We got to talking about theatre, and I shared with her my exasperation with the not-so-userfriendly online newspaper entertainment calendar.
"I'll email you some theatre resources," she promised. And she was as good as her word, for two days later I received half a dozen web links. One of them was to the Playwrights Center of San Francisco. I visited their next monthly scene reading night. I was impressed by the well-organized event in which paid actors read scenes from plays-in-progress. The authors were allowed to briefly introduce their play scenes but couldn't defend their writing during the ten-minute audience/peer commentary session that followed each reading. After all, they had had their say via the characters they had created. Now it was their turn to listen and learn, and perhaps get inspired.
I felt this feedback is exactly what the lonely playwright periodically needs to help her/him carry on, to discover and fix weaknesses in the script, to overcome writer's block...
So here we are now, using the pattern of the Playwrights Center to guide our own writers along. I hope the San Francisco folks don't mind my borrowing from them and adapting their module to our local needs. In appreciation, I'm giving a nod to our neighbours to the south by inviting writers from the coastal areas of Washington State to join us. After all, Victoria is only a short ferry ride away and we're all creative artists influenced by the isles and waters of the Salish Sea.