The Play’s The Thing

While the citizens of this country are pondering who will get their vote in the Big Election of 2012, here at Little Fish we’re pondering what plays will win a place on our 2013 schedule.

Just as in politics, the selection process is not an easy one. Will it be the popular choice or the nominee who can change the world (even if no one wants the world changed)? Ultimately, the buck stops at the desk of Lisa Coffi, Producing Artistic Director of Little Fish. She makes the final decisions. And she would like you to know it’s not easy.

It starts with, well, nothing. Lisa has to come up with a list of candidates. Some comedies. Some dramas. It’s always good to have some familiar titles, including a classic piece with instant name recognition. (In 2013, you’ll recognize one whose initials are S.M., and that’s all I’m gonna say.) It’s also good to include some shows that no one has ever heard of to bring some new ideas into the mix.

She has to find plays that are well written, and that she thinks our patrons will enjoy. She doesn’t have professional pollsters to help; she has to try to read the minds of her constituency to know what they will vote for with their theater-going dollars. Are they tired of Southern accents yet? Do they want to see plays with aliens in them? But she also has to pick plays that spark the creativity of our company members so they don’t defect and change their affiliation. And no one wants to hear the same old thing over and over again, so she has to consider if the work as been done recently in the Los Angeles area.

Our political parties have primaries and conventions to give folks a chance to express their opinions. Lisa gets suggestions and comments and a whole lot of opinions from other Little Fish company members. Sometimes the only solution is to get everyone in the same room and fight it out.

Then there’s what you would expect to be the boring part of securing the rights to produce the plays. Let’s just say it’s a bit more complicated than “pay to play.” Some handlers just don’t want their candidate on our slate. We usually need to publish our season before we get the rights to everything on our schedule, and that’s why sometimes there are changes after the season starts (think of them as broken campaign promises “beyond our control”).

If you want to find out which candidates made the cut and won a place in our 2013 season, you’ll need to come to our Annual Season Unveiling and Fundraising Party. This year’s party will be held at Little Fish Theatre on Saturday, November 3 from 5-9 p.m. In the past, we’ve held the party offsite, but by inviting folks to our special little space, we can offer treats like backstage tours.

And, of course, you’ll have a chance to give us your vote of confidence and purchase season tickets for our 2013 season! It’s going to be great – we would never lie to you. And if you’re reading this after November 3, you can just go to our website at to read about our 2013 season and buy tickets. spt

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