Due to the ongoing pandemic it will take longer to reply to you about your script than usual - please bear with us!
The Stephen Joseph Theatre has a proud history of producing exciting, inspiring, world-class new writing. As well as producing the world premieres of Alan Ayckbourn’s plays, we have produced new writing by playwrights including Torben Betts, Vanessa Brooks, Fiona Evans, Tim Firth, Vicky Ireland, Dawn King, Stephen Mallatratt and Claudine Toutoungi.
If you have written a brilliant play which you think would be a great fit for the SJT, we would like to hear from you.
We are currently looking for:
· New, original plays
· Plays with a focus on local/regional stories, ideally Yorkshire or coastal
· Plays which are bold and theatrically adventurous
· Adaptations of books/films (if you already have the adaptation rights)
· Plays with female protagonists and at least 50% female characters
· Work for families and young people
· New musicals
Female writers, ethnically diverse writers and writers from diverse socio-economic backgrounds are currently under-represented in our submissions, therefore we are particularly interested in receiving plays from these writers. The SJT is committed to engaging with artists from a wide range of backgrounds and identities, because we believe that this results in the most interesting, vibrant, and engaging theatre.
We are NOT currently looking for:
· Proposals or incomplete scripts
· First drafts - as we do not have the capacity to accept resubmissions
· Plays that have already been produced
· Biographical plays about historical figures
Sometimes writers send their plays to us because they feel they are 'Ayckbourn-esque'. Since we are lucky enough to have the real Alan Ayckbourn working here at the SJT, we are unlikely to programme plays which are very similar to his work. If you think that your play falls into this category, then we suggest that it might be better suited to other theatres.
The submissions window is now open - please fill out the submission form here.
Our literary department is small, and we want to engage with the work of as many different writers as possible. For this reason, we can only accept one script submission per writer per year.
Please send us a synopsis and the first 20 pages of your script using the link here (please note this link will only be live when the submission window is open).
Unfortunately, we cannot read scripts unless this form is submitted. This is to help us keep track of all submissions in a streamlined, efficient way and therefore gives us more time to read more plays! We only accept scripts digitally, rather than paper copies, for eco-friendly reasons.
Once your synopsis and excerpt has been submitted, the following things will happen:
· You will receive an acknowledgement email
· Once evaluated, we will either contact you to submit your full script or if we are not able to take your play further, we will let you know. Unfortunately, we are not able to give specific feedback or enter into any correspondence about your play. This is due to the large number of script submissions and our limited resources.
· From this point your full script will be sent to members of our reading panel. If your script is subsequently recommended by the reading panel, it will then be passed onto the senior artistic team.
The large volume of submissions means that this process can take up to 6 months. During this time please do not make contact, as we may not be able to answer you.
If we do want to take your play further, we may invite you to participate in one of the following ways:
· Second Stage – an SJT showcase of extracts of new work, from local playwrights and plays which have been submitted to the literary department, from national and international writers
· Play Reading event – a script in hand rehearsed reading of your play, at the SJT
· Further discussions about a possible full production of your script, or discussions about commissioning/seed-commissioning a new play from you
The SJT commissioning opportunities include:
· Productions for our youth theatre group
· Productions for our OutReach department
· Productions in the McCarthy theatre
· Productions in The Round
If you feel your play is not ready for full production or that you want to gain more writing experience, we offer a writing course via our OutReach Department.
This course culminates in First Draft - a public showcase of new writing from the participants, at the SJT. Writers from this course often then go on to have a play selected for Second Stage.
Thank you to everyone who has submitted scripts to us. We appreciate that writing plays is not easy, and requires huge energy, bravery and will power, as well as talent. Even if your play does not find a home here at the SJT, we encourage you to submit your work to other theatres and to keep writing!