An Opportunity for New Playwrights

An Opportunity for New Playwrights

If you are interested in writing for theatre and would like the opportunity to receive advice and support from the experts, then join us for a very special partnership between The National Theatre, Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Birmingham School of Acting.

Twelve places are available on this project in which artists from The National Theatre will lead a seminar and a rehearsal day to help you to write a 10 minute piece of theatre for a rehearsed reading at Birmingham School of Acting to an invited audience.

The project is inspired by Alan Bennett’s new play, The Habit of Art, in which he creates an imagined meeting in later life of the poet, WH Auden and his once friend and collaborator, composer Benjamin Britten. Therefore, we are asking all writers to write a piece of theatre that is a meeting of two people.

These can be real, imagined, from history, current. You will have access to a cast of 3 actors. You will be able to work on your scene, be given feedback from the experts and have the opportunity to see it performed in front of an invited audience.

23rd August 2010 (7pm to 9.30pm)
Matt Charman, the award winning playwright and author of National Theatre premieres The Five Wives of Maurice Pinder and The Observer will lead a seminar at Birmingham School of Acting for the 12 selected writers. You will receive feedback on your script and use the notes and comments from the seminar to develop a rehearsal draft.

2nd October (10am to 6pm)
Your script will be workshopped in a rehearsal setting with a National Theatre director and actors. (There will be 3 directors each with a cast of 3 actors all of whom will be working with a small group of writers, looking at each piece in turn.) The pieces will then receive a rehearsed reading in front of an invited audience at The Birmingham School of Acting at approximately 4pm (tbc). After this performance you will have a break, then return to The REP to watch the last performance of the Birmingham run of The Habit Of Art.

The total cost, including a ticket to see The Habit of Art is £60 (£45 concessions). This course is highly subsidised and generously supported by the Dorset Foundation.


  1. This opportunity is open to any writer who has not yet had a professional production of their work.
  2. Scripts must be ten minutes in length. (The 10 minute piece can be a small part of a longer play or a complete story in itself.)
  3. Scripts must be about a meeting between two people. (The characters can be anyone, from any time, real or imagined.)
  4. Scripts must not require more than three actors.
  5. You must be available for a seminar on Monday 23rd August 7pm-9.30pm, a workshop and performance on Saturday 2nd October from 10am-6pm and the performance of The Habit of Art that evening from 7.30pm.

How To Apply
Please send your script along with your name, address and contact details to before 6pm on 8th August 2010. Applicants will be informed on 13th August whether they have been successful.

Additional Information
For further information on this project, please email
Discover: Mobile is supported by The Dorset Foundation.