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When you finish a play and begin sending it out to theaters, it can be tempting to send it out to everyone you possibly can.

After all, you want to hear back as quickly as you can! And I can certainly understand that.

But take my advice on something:

You’ll be much better off by following a different strategy.

I recommend submitting your play to only a few theaters at a time–say, six to twelve–and waiting to see what the response looks like before you send another batch.

This way, you can get an idea of how well your submission package is performing and adjust, if necessary.

Here’s why this is such a powerful play submission strategies:

Theaters get a lot of submissions. Far more than they can actually produce (obviously). And the people who work at these theaters are very busy, often underpaid, people.

They don’t have time to read the same submission more than once.

In other words: once you submit your play to a theater, and they reject it, that’s it. You’ve blown your one and only chance.

That being the case, it pays to be patient. Don’t shoot your whole wad all at once.

To recap, the strategy I’m advocating is:

Step 1: Send your play to a few (6-12) theaters.

Step 2: Wait to see what kind of response you get.

Step 3a: If all you get are form rejections (or no reply at all), that’s a sign that your submission package isn’t quite doing its job. Take a closer look and consider how you can improve it. Revise accordingly, then repeat step 1.

Step 3b: If your response is generally positive–with encouraging, personalized notes or invitations to chat futher–that’s a sign your submission package is working. Congratulations! Repeat step 1.

This approach lets you iterate on your submission, based on feedback, to improve on it over time.

It takes patience, I know. It’s not easy. But it’s well worth it in the long run.