Every theatre piece begins with an idea, a spark of imagination in a playwright’s mind. They stare down the blank page, writing, mulling and fiddling until it has been shaped into a real, impactful piece of art. Without their creativity and devotion, this art form that we love so dearly would simply not exist.
Playwrights Welcome is a new program created to support and inspire these writers, as well as the next generation of great American plays and musicals. The goal is simple: to provide free access to theatre for playwrights, composers and lyricists around the country.
Developed for the Dramatists Guild of America Members, Playwrights Welcome is a national ticketing initiative created by Samuel French along with Dramatists Play Service, Dramatic Publishing, Music Theatre International, Playscripts and Rodgers and Hammerstein. This program was made out of a desire to support the artistic health of our industry's writers, and by extension the vibrancy of the American theatre.
We’re aware that attending theatre is an integral part to how writers learn their craft and grows as artists. However, it can often be costly for writers to do that simple act. Playwrights Welcome is designed to offer available tickets to professional playwrights on the day of a performance, free of charge. These available tickets are ones that would otherwise go unsold; we firmly believe that no theater should give away a ticket that could otherwise be sold. To learn more about how your theater can get involved, or how you as a playwright can take advantage of this Dramatists Guild benefit, see below.
How it works: Theaters
Theaters can sign up to participate in Playwrights Welcome by filling out this form. Our Program Manager will be in touch with next steps. Once registered, theaters will receive a welcome packet, complete with language to use in marketing and promotion, a logo pack, and a window cling to display in your box office window.
Eligible playwrights will call or visit your box office for day-of tickets - or through a reservation system designed by your theater. Every box office works differently, and we know that you may not be able to offer day-of tickets, so managing reservations for this program is at your discretion. Our only requirement is that playwrights present their Dramatists Guild card to claim their ticket.
How it works: Playwrights
Below, you'll find the list of Participating Theaters. New theaters are being added on a regular basis, so be sure to check back every so often.
If you're interested in seeing a show at one of the below theaters, simply show up at their box office before to curtain and ask if they have any Playwrights Welcome tickets available. If they do, you will need to present your Dramatists Guild membership card as well as your ID. (Click here to learn more about becoming a Dramatists Guild member.) Then, enjoy the show! However, please remember that every box office is different, so some theaters may have different ticketing processes for Playwrights Welcome tickets. See asterisks below for specific notes.
The Playwrights Welcome Council
The Playwrights Welcome Council includes a list of some the theatre industry's most celebrated artists and professionals who are in support and endorse the program. Council Members include playwrights Kia Corthron (A Cool Dip in the Barren Saharan Crick), Lydia Diamond (Stick Fly), Kristoffer Diaz (The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity), Colman Domingo (Dot), Madeleine George (The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence), Rebecca Gilman (Boy Gets Girl), Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Gloria), Christine Toy Johnson (The Secret Wisdom of Trees), Aditi Kapil (Love Person), Lisa Kron (Fun Home), Mike Lew (Bike America), David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole), Dominique Dominique Morisseau (Detroit '67), Qui Nguyen (Vietgone), Marsha Norman ('night, Mother, The Secret Garden; President & Founder, The Lilly Awards), Sarah Ruhl (Stage Kiss), Robert Schenkkan (All the Way), Madhuri Shekar (In Love and Warcraft), Octavio Solis (El Paso Blues), Doug Wright (Hands on a Hardbody, I Am My Own Wife) and Lauren Yee (Hatmaker's Wife); composers Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime), Andrew Lippa (Wild Party), Georgia Stitt (Big Red Sun), Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home); and industry leaders Ken Davenport (Davenport Theatricals), Sean Patrick Flahaven (Senior Vice President of Theatre and Catalog Development, Warner/Chappell Music), Gary Garrison (Executive Director, Dramatists Guild), Todd Haimes (Artistic Director, Roundabout Theatre), Todd London (Author, Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play), Emily Mann (Artistic Director & Resident Playwright, McCarter Theatre), Daryl Roth (Daryl Roth Productions), Tom Schumacher (Disney Theatricals), Tim Shields (Managing Director, McCarter Theatre), and Jim Steinberg (Steinberg Foundation).
Free Tickets for Playwrights Who Can't Afford the Theater (New York Times)
Dramatists Guild Launches Playwrights Welcome Program (Playbill)
Playwrights Welcome: A New National Program Providing Free Access to Theatre for Playwrights, Composers & Lyricists (Breaking Character Magazine)
How Playwrights Can Get Free Theatre Tickets (American Theatre)
How to Get Cheap Tickets to Broadway Shows (Even 'Hamilton') (New York Times)
To enroll your theater as a participant in Playwrights Welcome, please complete this form. Our Program Manager, Courtney Kochuba, will be in touch with the next steps to complete your registration.