I received an e-mail this morning from Theatre503 in London. My play Betty Thorpe made it through the first round of vetting for the company's playwriting award, but alas, did not get picked.
According to the e-mail, the theatre received more than 1,600 plays for the award, and only around 200 plays were considered in this later round, which included Betty Thorpe. It's nice to be considered, even if they ultimately decided against the play.
Betty Thorpe is one of those plays that everyone tells me they love, but no one seems to want to actually produce. It's had numerous readings, but still no productions. Perhaps the fact that its a period piece (set in the 1930s) turns people off a bit.
And yet another period piece I wrote, Capital (which Theatre503 previously read, liked, but passed on), will be premiering this spring at Detroit Repertory Theatre. That play takes place in 1858, yet the time period hasn't deterred an adventurous company from taking on the challenge.
Ultimately, you just have to write what you have to write. Theatres will do the shows, or not. It's impossible to read the minds of literary managers and artistic directors. I'm glad Betty Thorpe is getting closer to a production. Maybe someday it will actually receive one.