The organization of the ePlays.org site closely mimics the real-life process of making theater, from writing and workshopping a new original play, through to casting, managing, and producing the show at a live theater. It is built around years of experience in the theatrical world. As such it has many facets, each reflecting its corresponding part in the process of putting on a show. The tools in this website help writers reach interested venues, and help theaters organize and automate the more mundane aspects of running its productions.
Using ePlays, all relevant information is instantly available to participants on any internet-connected device. Each piece of information resides in only one place, is under the control of the entity that owns it, and is made visible wherever it is appropriate. As a concrete example, a rehearsal appointment is "owned by" the Show that created it, and it can be edited only by participants of that show. Depending on the appointment type, that appointment is also made visible to certain members on the calendars of other Shows that overlap, to act as a guide for scheduling the theater. When the original is edited, the new version cascades instantly to everywhere it is visible. Similarly, certain types of appointments created by a Venue are visible to all Shows belonging to that Venue, also as a scheduling aid. As another example, the headshot of a Performer who chooses to upload one to their profile is made available on the audition list of any show they audition for, and on the cast list of any show they participate in. This is especially helpful for crew and staff, who may not cross paths with (and thus recognize) cast members that much.
Most noteworthy, contact information for a Performer is "owned by" that Performer page, and under the control of the performer, who is then responsible for keeping their own information up to date. Changes and updates made by the Performer propagate instantly to the contact lists of all shows the performer participates in, without any effort on the part of show personnel. Show participants can download the information at any time, but the online version is always up to date. A Performer who no longer wishes to share a piece of contact information can hide it, and it will disappear from the online contact lists instantly. This keeps the member in charge of their own data.
Collaboration and Interactive Tools
ePlays.org is based on the idea that everyone involved is interested in the success of the shows and events. As such, most of the tools are shared with all participants, greatly enhancing communication between participants. For these tools, all significant actions are logged, and the history is easily viewed. This provides accountability while reducing bottlenecks associated with central control. Everyone is always up-to-date.
Plays uploaded by ePlays Authors lead to a file library containing scripts of their play, audio recordings of readings of the play, images and other supporting material for the play, all making it easy for a theater to decide to produce the play, and streamlining the actual production.
Some areas have message boards associated with them, intended for constructuve commentary to the area owner. Messages posted there are initially visible only to the poster and the area owner. He or she can release the message (to various subsets of the membership) to generate more discussion, or may choose to keep the message private. They may also delete the message after reading it and absorbing its contents. Messages that are not released are still appreciated
Production pages on ePlays.org are controlled by minions (assistants) that are assigned to those pages by their creator. This allows (for example) the director, producer, and/or stage manager of a Show to have editing rights to that Show's page. Although less commonly used, minions are also available to Authors and Performers who would like somebody else (such as an agent) to handle their page. Minions are extremely powerful; they have nearly full editing rights in the page to which they are assigned. They should be chosen with care.
Roles, Privileges and Security
Acquiring a role or privilege on ePlays.org requires that the member first apply for that role. Subsequently an owner or minion of the page in question will approve (or decline) the application. Member may not be arbitrarily assigned roles for which they did not apply. This helps ensure that everyone is always on the same page regarding who is doing what, both on the ePlays.org site and at the Venue in question. An extra security step is required for some critical actions (such as approving minions): a one-time-use secret phrase is agreed upon between a minion applicant and the approving member, and the approving member verifies this and re-enters their own password.
PrivacyPrivacy is a major driving force on this site
has the details.