503Five Playwright Scheme at Theatre503
Theatre503, London’s foremost new writer’s theatre, has received nearly 800 submissions for its 503Five playwrights opportunity and will announce the chosen five at the end of the year.
Following the highly successful inaugural year of the 503Five writer attachment program, the initiative has over quadrupled in interest with entries from as far away as Niger, the USA and Australia.
The purpose of 503Five is for five bright new playwrights to become part of the Theatre503 team – to work with, write for and inspire them. This exciting initiative has helped evolve the way the venue works with playwrights and explores ways in which it can place the writer at the centre of what Theatre503 does.
The playwrights will have a creative home in the theatre, with opportunities to engage in every aspect of the theatre’s work and feed the vision of the building.
Each playwright will be supported in writing a first draft commission for the theatre during 2012. At least one of the plays will be taken into full production, Theatre 503 having a commitment to find appropriate production opportunities for all the writers involved. The only ask is to be ‘fearless’ and to create work that is immediate, responsive and of boundless possibility.
In the first year of the scheme, Theatre503 produced three of the commissions in-house, whilst the remaining two playwrights had work developed with Hightide and the Old Vic. This included a short play written during the scheme which has been developed into a full length musical for a major London production.
503Five Resident Playwrights 2010 – 2011 were: Richard Marsh, Rex Obano, Louise Ramsden, Nimer Rashed and Beth Steel.
Theatre503 launches writers at an early stage in their career, who may have had some playwriting success, but have yet to have a professional production of their work in London or in a major regional venue.
Theatre503 will also be hosting an open space event for writers on December 5, 2011, to talk about any and all issues on the minds of contemporary playwrights in 2011/12.
503Five is run by Theatre503’s literary department, Steve Harper and Kezia Cole.