WGAW Writer Access Project Update

From the secret, inner sanctumey members only section of the WGAW website.

In other words, we can’t include a URL because if we did we’d have to kill you. Or the WGAW would have to kill us. Or something.

The good news here – and it really is good – is that the WGAW is looking out for new writers. But it’s up to us to get in touch with the guild and learn how to take full advantage.

Ten writers debut scenes from their winning scripts – just in time for TV staffing season. 

Dawn Comer Jefferson GroupWhat do you get when you put ten writers, six directors and 43 actors in a room together (besides a union rave)? In the case of the recent Writer Access Project evening of readings, an abundance of talent showcasing the work of new writers.

The event, the first of its kind since WAP was created in 2008, was designed to bring this year’s honorees to the attention of industry executives as television staffing season looms. An audience of agents, managers, executives and casting directors upped the excitement, and jitters, of the writers. “You would think last night’s event would be every writer’s worst nightmare, but it turned out to be a dream come true,” said Lena Waithe, whose half-hour comedy pilot, Twenties, was among the selections this year.

The honorees were involved in every aspect of their respective readings, including casting (they made their own final casting selections) and rehearsals. “I knew how skilled the 2013 Writer Access Project honorees are and how strong their material is on the page,” said WGAW Director of Diversity Kimberly Myers. “But to see it brought to life by a vibrant cast of actors really brought it home. I’m a TV lover, and I’d love to see these scripts produced any day on television.”

The event was commandeered by the WGAW, SAG-AFTRA and the Casting Society of America (CSA). Michael Sanford, the head of the CSA Diversity Committee, and CSA associates Paige Orr and Alex Christopoulos, assembled the multicultural cast. SAG-AFTRA’s Ellen Huang and Consuelo Flores and EEO Committee members provided casting, rehearsal and production support. Directors included GLWC Committee Chair Gary Goldstein, DGA member Linda Mendoza, Julia Rask (The Mindy Project) and Sam Benevidez..

This year’s WAP honorees: Michael DiGaetano, Joey Manderino, Lena Waithe and Joseph Neustein (Comedy), and Leslie Valdes Dawn Comer Jefferson Margaux FroleySherry Carnes Thomas Wong and Geetika Lizardi (Drama).