Freshman Chris Cartwright has always had a passion for theatre; he began acting in fourth grade. Now, his play has been published by Off the Wall Plays and is ready for purchase.
Off the Wall Plays, an online publishing house, notified Cartwright a few weeks ago. He wrote the one-act comedy, which he titled “Awaiting Patients,” during his junior year at Eastview High School. He said the play tells the story of six strangers in a clinic waiting room, there to see a doctor who is not showing up.
“The characters are crazy: one is a super emotional pregnant lady, and her helpless husband, and a very old guy, and a typical midwestern woman . . . and they eventually storm into the doctor’s office,” Cartwright said.
This marks the first time Cartwright has ever done any playwriting. His theatre director, Scott Durocher, expressed interest in the play and asked Cartwright if he wanted to direct it at Eastview High School.
“[Durocher] was there to encourage me,” Cartwright said. “I was one of few people who expressed interest in directing and not acting…it was surprising to him that I wanted to go more into directing and playwriting.”
Cartwright was able to cast and direct the 45-minute play. After a few productions of the show, he said that he set the script aside and paid it no attention for several months.
“The script was just lying dormant on my laptop, so halfway through senior year… I decided to send it off to a couple publishers just on a whim,” Cartwright said. “I really wasn’t expecting anything.”
To Cartwright’s surprise, he heard back from several different publishers who were interested in publishing his work. He ultimately decided to publish his production through Off the Wall Plays because he felt strongly about their mission of providing scripts and plays to theatres for an affordable price.
Although his decision was made last November, the process of publishing takes well over a year, according to Cartwright. Schools, community theatres and professional theatres can now purchase the script and rights to produce “Awaiting Patients.” Cartwright will receive half of the profit for each script purchased and another portion of the money made from producing it.
Since writing “Awaiting Patients,” Cartwright has written several more plays. Lately, he has been writing shorter plays and submitting them to theatre festivals across the country to see if any theatre companies show interest in producing them.
“A lot of play publishers prefer you to have a production of it done before you send it in to get published,” Cartwright said.
If writers can find a theatre willing to put on a production of their play, it greatly increases the odds of publication.
Katelyn is a senior double majoring in Multimedia Journalism and Communications. She’s been apart of the Concordian team for three years, and plans to travel as much as possible after graduating in December.