In a dazzling display of what can only be called unmitigated gall, the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center has sent out this year's appeal to playwrights to submit. And let me tell you folks, when they use the word "submit" they mean it in every way imaginable. (full disclosure: I've been a finalist twice)
It is an open secret in the theatre world that of the dozen or so slots available each Summer to new plays at the O'Neill, all but 2 or 3 are pre-determined in backroom deal-making worthy of Tammany Hall. As if this weren't bad enough, the O'Neill is one of the few playwriting competitions that still asks its "submitters" to fork over a hefty $35 fee for the privilege of landing in the slush pile. So given this context, it is hard to believe that the team that works there had the nerve to put this language in their latest appeal sent out to playwrights all over the world via email:
UPDATE 11/11/09: There have been other developments on this post, please click here for important information.