Live and Well!

It’s been a long time coming, but Heartland Plays, Inc. is finally going live with our new website!  What started as a 30 day revamp of our website has turned into a four-month programming extravaganza.   The initial drop dead deadline for launching the new site was right in line with my trip to Venice Beach, Florida for the International Community Theatre Festival.  I had made a number of posters proclaiming the June launch date.  The day before my flight I was making new signs that stated “Visit our new website coming in July.”  In July I e-mailed a message to all our authors with a link to the work-in-progress to assure them we we had our eye on the ball, though a little behind schedule.  It took a number of subsequent meetings with the programmer to get us on the same page.  Theatre doesn’t work like every other business.  We’re not really selling a product, we’re granting the rights to use intellectual property.  That’s not so easy to fit into the standard shopping cart.  In early September I sent out a new e-mail requesting that the authors check for mispelled names and titles and to bring any blatant errors to our attention.  I gave my word we’d be live by the end of September.  And with September 30th a little over a week away, I’m scrambling to keep my word.  When you think about it, four months isn’t that long.  Nothing much is born that soon after conception.  I sincerely hope that by taking our time to try and get this right, that theatres will come to respect our company and take adantage of our time and money saving purchase process.  Kermit the Frog used to say it isn’t easy being green but the Internet sure helps play publishing do its part.  I am really excited about theatres having the opportunity to read our plays for free and to purchase the performance rights without all the paperwork and mailing contracts back and forth and waiting for books to arrive.  And since we actually grant theatres the right to download the script, it will be so much easier to “spread the written word.”  The director can just e-mail the file to every actor, designer, stage manager, costumer, props mistress, production assistant and so forth and each can copy his or her own script.  And no one ever has to worry about getting books back to the director.  Or erase all that blocking and all those notes!  I guess I’m getting a little ahead of myself, but I truly am excited about going live and I hope to hear from authors and directors as to the ease in using the site.  It feels so good to be live and well once again!