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SARAH FRANKCOM SHARES WHY SHE THINKS THE WORLD NEEDS PLAYS LIKE IT’S NEVER NEEDED THEM BEFORE 

The Bruntwood Prize, a partnership between the Royal Exchange Theatre and property company Bruntwood, is open to anyone who has a story to tell through the live medium of theatre. We want to support anyone and everyone to try to complete a play before the deadline on 5 June. Whatever your writing experience, we want to hear from you!

Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange Theatre, Sarah Frankcom - co-founder of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting – expresses her views on the significance of new writing, the minimal prerequisites of playwriting and the revealing nature of theatre in this interview. She said, “The brilliant thing about theatre as an art form is that it’s at its most exciting, and its most vivid, and its most visceral, and its most vital when it encounters new imaginations”.

To actively encourage new and established playwrights to submit their scripts for a chance to win part of the £40,000 fund, the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting team have created a free 10-week online playwrighting toolkit which is now live.

The toolkit includes:

1. Getting Started - by Suzanne Bell, Royal Exchange Theatre Dramaturg
2. Character - with Kendall Feaver (Bruntwood Prize Judges Award winning playwright and UK Theatre Award winner)
3. Get the characters talking to each other – creating a scene – with playwright Simon Longman
4. Dramatic Action - with playwright In-Sook Chappell
5. Asking a Question – with playwright Chinonyerem Odimba
6. Story – with Tim Foley (Bruntwood Prize Judges Award winner)
7. Structure/Form and Content – with Playwright James Fritz (Bruntwood Prize Judges Award winner)
8. Imagery and Metaphor – with playwright Zodwa Nyoni
9. Thinking Theatrically – with playwright Lizzie Nunnery
10. Re-drafting and getting ready to submit – with playwright Frances Poet

Alongside this toolkit are 6 exciting brand-new livestreamed workshops led by internationally recognised playwrights. These sessions are completely free to access on writeaplay.co.uk and include: 

1. David Eldridge – Telling story as dramatic action: making backstory active and other tips, notes and thoughts
2. Jo Clifford – on Imagery, Metaphor and Meaning
3. Patricia Cornelius - Lovely, lovely, sometimes ugly dialogue
4. Winsome Pinnock on the relationship between the epic and the intimate in writing for the stage – Thursday 18 April (to be archived here)

5. Naomi Iizuka - Telling Ghost Stories – Friday 26 April with Berkeley Rep - 9.30PM GMT (to be archived here)
6. Tanika Gupta on how you might explore your work to ensure that the story you want to tell is clear, dramatic and theatrical – Monday 22 May (to be archived here)

So, if you are not sure where to start or need a few helpful tips to help refine your script, feel free to catch up on these session at your own pace as you allow your story to take shape.

Happy writing!