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Where Have All the (Right-Leaning) Playwrights Gone?


Alison Carey is looking for a few good conservative playwrights. 

Well, at least one. 

Alison is a 48 year old Harvard graduate who is now director of American Revolutions (snazzy title that!) at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland — one of the largest repertory companies in the country, which produces 11 plays a year. 

The theater is in the middle of an ambitious and fascinating project — commissioning 37 brand new “history plays” over the next decade. Shakespeare wrote quite a few history plays, after all.

I learned about Alison’s search in this New York Times story, “Liberal Views Dominate Footlights.

“You cannot tell the story of the United States without including the story of conservative political and social movements,” said Alison Carey told the New York Times.

Unfortunately so far she’s come up blank:  “I’ve never had a play come to me that I could say had a conservative perspective,” said Ms. Carey at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, adding that if anyone hears of a playwright with one in hand, “send him my way.”

She sounded awfully sincere so I called her up and volunteered to try to find some young (or not-so-young) conservative writing talent who wants to break into theater.

She returned my call immediately. “I’m so glad to hear from you. I’ve gotten a ton of calls but mostly they begin with ‘I’m not really right-of-center, but I have this play I’d like you to read,’” Alison told me.

We chatted about what she is looking for. Great plays mostly, with a very broad view of what constitutes a contemporary version of a history play: “Moments of change” is the theme. And yes, a musical could quality “1776 is my favorite musical!” Alison said.

So now I’m Alison Carey’s self-appointed right-wing theater talent scout. 

Do you have a play that might qualify? Have you ever written a play that’s any good at all, even if this one really isn’t a history play? Send it to me. They are commissioning plays after all.

Do you know of any young writers who might qualify? Send their names — and emails if possible — to me.

You have thoughts about where to go to find young playwriting talent — some school or person or website that might make a good connector? 

Email me any or all of the above info: [email protected]


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