Playwrights on Television features interviews with writers of award-winning stage plays and celebrated television shows reflecting on the successes and challenges of being a playwright in the post-network television era.
In these conversations, eighteen dramatists consider their professional paths and creative choices, from training and education to thoughts on craft and technique, and discuss a range of issues relevant to the development of dramatic writing today. Theatergoers and TV aficionados alike will find new perspectives on the journeys traveled by some of their favorite plays and series, such as The Affair, The Americans, Boardwalk Empire, GLOW, House of Cards, Insecure, Mad Men, Orange Is the New Black, Shameless, She’s Gotta Have It, Vida, and The West Wing.
A valuable resource for aspiring stage and television writers, as well as theater and media scholars investigating the works of these dramatists, Playwrights on Television sheds light on the role of the contemporary playwright in the latest Golden Age of television.
Table of Contents
Preface Acknowledgements Introduction: Naming 1. Tanya Barfield 2. Jocelyn Bioh 3. Sheila Callaghan 4. Kristoffer Diaz 5. Bash Doran 6. Laura Eason 7. Madeleine George 8. Jason Grote 9. Jordan Harrison 10. David Henry Hwang 11. MJ Kaufman 12. Itamar Moses 13. Janine Nabers 14. Christopher Oscar Peña 15. Adam Rapp 16. Tanya Saracho 17. Diana Son 18. Tracey Scott Wilson Afterword: Renaming Select Bibliography Index
Hillary Miller is a theater historian and the author of Drop Dead: Performance in Crisis, 1970s New York (2016). She is an assistant professor of English at Queens College, CUNY.
"Hillary Miller’s riveting interviews with eighteen dramatists demonstrate how writing for television is reshaping contemporary play writing. In wide-ranging conversations, writers talk about the artistic, economic, and social reasons they compose for the small screen. The interviews coalesce into a beautifully textured picture of the modern playwright’s education—from formal training to early successes to the seemingly inevitable invitation from Hollywood. Framed with sharp analyses from Miller, this collection will be essential reading for anyone who loves Peak TV or who cares about the American theater." - Derek Miller, author of Copyright and the Value of Performance, 1770-1911
"Where do we locate the labour of the playwright in a world dominated by digital downloads and binge-streaming? What might a dramatist writing for both stage and (small) screen have to tell us about the cultural shifts our world has undergone in the past 20 years, the stories we increasingly dismiss or hunger for? How can you train for a successful cross-platform writing career, and what challenges should you expect to face? This compelling, readable book traverses these questions in 18 interviews with playwright-showrunners; it’s essential reading for drama teachers, media scholars, super-fans, aspiring writers – and anyone who loves both the West End and The Wire"
-Kim Solga, author of A Cultural History of Theatre in the Modern Age