These pups have to compete for stage time with the big dogs from Sophocles to Stoppard. And even those who do managed to get a first play produced often find it difficult to get additional productions (theaters like the fizz of being first with a new work) or to get a second play on the boards (unless the first made a tsunami-like splash).
But chances are they’ll all continue to scribble away during the coffee breaks at their day jobs and on the weekends in their outer-borough garrets. That's what Berman did and her “No Place Like Home” offers an up-close-and-very-personal look at what it can take to make it in the theater these days.
Her short play Dancing with a Devil was a standout at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in 1999. Since then she’s written at least a dozen more and won all kinds of accolades, including fellowships to the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo and other supportive havens for artists. Her plays have been produced at regional theaters around the country, in London and here in New York.
“I remember now when I was a kid and people would say, ‘A life in the theater? That’s really hard.’ And, arrogantly, I’d think it wouldn’t be hard for me. But now I understand that it’s really objectively hard—for everyone. I work in a profession in which there is no clear path, no ‘right way’ to go, and no reward for growth. Instead, there are a surplus of worthy plays and writers (and actors and directors and designers) and a deficit of opportunities to produce them.”