Audible and its parent company Amazon have created a $5 million commission fund for fledgling playwrights, but their endorsement might be worth a lot more than that.
The company are hoping for new writers to create one- or two-person plays. An advisory board of theater industry veterans is responsible for granting the money, including Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening and Oscar-winning playwright Tom Stoppard.
Audible’s endorsement of a playwright might mean more than just money. The company has proven that it can attract popular and talented actors to participate in Audible Studios productions. If a play lands on Audible, and is performed by a well-known actor, it could do more to boost a playwright’s career than any amount of money.
Audible CEO Donald Katz told the New York Times Audible might be an easy route to discovery for playwrights who’d otherwise be buried in Off Off Broadway purgatory:
To celebrate live performance in the theater is one thing, but think of professional sports. There’s the game, but it’s also being projected to millions of other people in a really powerful way.
The grants will cover cost of production, and will be available later this year.