I don't know when, but somewhere along the line playwrights were relegated to a rather impotent position in the theater. The people who come up with the initial spark of creativity, then painstakingly bring it to life in a draft of a script, are then told usually by a director, thank you very much, I'll take it from here.
And then the script--because it's not a play until it's staged--then the script is given the director's "vision". No one would ever buy a painting then hang it upside down because they feel it looks better that way, but that is precisely what happens to scripts all of the time. Whatever the playwright intended is tossed aside, and is given an entirely new intent by someone who the theater world thinks is more qualified.
I started Alley Cat Theater to give the authority and responsibility for all of the artistic merit of a play back to the playwright. Me. And other playwrights who want to take charge of their work. This idea, though, includes directors and actors and dramaturgs and theater technicians who want to collaborate and bring their unique talent vision to new work.
It's not playwright as dictator. Rather, it's the playwright as the artistic director, who believes in the collaborative effort that is theater. Trust and respect is at the heart of this theater. It's all the collaborators trusting the other artists to establish an open and free environment to exchange ideas in order to create. It's all of the collaborators respecting one another for the talent and expertise they bring to the theater.