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Live Playwriting - online course

Do you want to be a playwriting voice of the future?

Live Theatre are on the lookout for budding North East writers interested in writing for the stage.

To help you on this journey we have created Live Playwriting. This is a friendly and informal course that will introduce you to some of the key aspects of writing a play. It will also lift the lid on playwriting, giving you an understanding of how the theatre industry works and how writers get their plays on stage.

This free course will begin on Saturday 13 February 2021 and will run for 10 weeks. Led by Live Theatre’s Creative Producer, Graeme Thompson and a host of leading theatre professionals, you will cover storytelling, plot, character, dialogue and theatricality. You will also develop an idea for a stage play.

The leading writers and theatre professionals who will share their guidance and practical experience includes:

  • Chinonyerem Odimba 
    Live Theatre Associate Artist and playwright
    The Princess & The Hustler, Eclipse and Bristol Old Vic, performed at Live Theatre.
    Unknown Rivers, Hampstead Theatre
  • Anna Jordan 
    Bruntwood Prize winning playwright
    Yen, The Royal Exchange, Royal Court, MCC New York 
    and screenwriter Killing EveSuccession
  • Vinay Patel 
    A Journey, Bush Theatre
    and BAFTA winning screenwriter
    Murdered by My Father, Dr Who
  • Phoebe Eclair-Powell
    Live Theatre commissioned and Bruntwood Prize winning Playwright
    Shed-Exploded, Fury, Soho Theatre 
    and screenwriter Hollyoaks
  • Luke Barnes 
    Live Theatre commissioned playwright
    The Jumper Factory, Young Vic Theatre, Clare Studio, Bristol Old Vic
  • Katie Posner and Charlotte Bennett
    Artistic directors Paines Plough touring theatre company

Who is this for?

This is for anyone interested in writing for the stage who is based in the North East aged 16+. You do not have to have any previous experience of playwriting. However, places are limited so we ask interested people to apply by sending a small example of your writing (10 pages max). This does not have to have been previously performed or published.

When and how will sessions take place?

The weekly sessions begin on Saturday 13 February from 1pm to 3pm and will take place via Zoom. Exact information and the content of the individual sessions will made available closer to the time. We suggest that participants to the course use laptops or PCs to access this course. Phones and tablets may not be 100% effective.

How do I apply?

To apply to Live Playwriting course please fill in the online form at the bottom of this page including the upload of your writing example.  There will be a section so that you can let us know any access needs you may have.

Deadline for applications is Friday 18 December 2020.

If access to computer equipment is a barrier then please let us know and we may be able to help.

If you have any questions please contact

Previous participants who have benefitted from similar courses include writers, Kema Sikazwe (Shine) Olivia Hannah (Braids) Nina Berry (The Terminal Velocity of Snowflakes), Alison Carr (Iris), Paddy Campbell (Wet House), Elijah Young (10 Minutes To... and Queer and Now), Mhairi Ledgerwood (2020 Seed Bursary winner) and Sarah Tarbit (Invisible Boundaries for 10 Minutes To…Call Home and The Whale Washed Up On Christmas Eve for 5 Plays of Christmas).  

Introduction to Playwriting alumni, Sarah Tarbit said:

To me, the course was all about opportunities - to develop my storytelling skills, to meet other writers and to learn more about the industry. We had an exciting mix of workshops led by dramaturgs, writers, directors and theatre companies from across the country. It was like Live flung open its doors and invited me into the world of theatre when other parts of the writing world seemed so closed off. It was such an encouraging and validating experience that has led to my first short script being staged. So, if you're thinking about applying just do it! You never know where it might lead...”

Live Playwriting is a key part of Live Elevator, our talent development programme. It’s an investment in the theatre makers of the future and a unique opportunity for aspiring playwrights. Live Playwriting continues the Live Wired season.

Live Playwriting 2021 - Online Application Form

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  • Arts Council England
  • Community Foundation
  • European Regional Development Fund


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