With over 200 premieres and a string of awards, we continue to cement our place as a centre of excellence for new writing and support for playwrights.
The Royal Exchange Theatre has a rich history of supporting, developing and producing new work by playwrights at various stages of their journey as artists. We have an ambitious and diverse programme of new work and a variety of ways in which we support playwrights – the work on our stages is only a small percentage of the work we do to engage with and support artists. We endeavour to support artistic risk and are dedicated to reimagining the relationship a producing theatre has with its audiences and artists.
Our aim is to develop and produce the best new plays and work for our stages from exciting and diverse voices. We commission a range of projects from some of the UK’s most exceptional artists, creating ambitious new work as well as vibrant new adaptations and translations of classics through which we strive to re-envisage our relationship to that work.
New writing produced at the Royal Exchange Theatre is being seen by more people than ever before. We work in partnership with a range of organisations to bring new work to life, to engage audiences across the UK and beyond. The B!RTH Project commissioned female playwrights from USA, Kenya, India, China, UK, Brazil and Syria to explore global health inequalities through the lens of childbirth in their nation. In addition to being featured at the Women of the World Festival at the South Bank, the work has gone on to be performed in 15 countries across the globe, was presented at the World Health Organisation in Geneva and now plays a part in midwifery training in universities across the UK and US.
Who we’ve worked with
We continue to work with some of the country’s most respected playwrights including Simon Stephens, Chinonyerem Odimba, Zodwa Nyoni, afshan d’souza-lodhi and Stef Smith as well as continuing a relationship with alumni of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting through developing new projects with past winners. We work in partnership with a range of organisations such as ETT, New Earth Theatre, Talawa Theatre Company, Tamasha Theatre Company and Graeae Theatre Company. This enables us to forge new relationships and bring new voices into the theatre. We also work closely with the University of Manchester and the Manchester School of Writing at MMU to support writers at the early stages of their journey as artists.
Royal Exchange Theatre is rare in our commitment to producing work by writers at different stages of their career. It is vital that writers are given the opportunity to benefit from a range of experiences and empowered to define what they feel would be most beneficial to their development as an artist.
We endeavour to support as many new and aspiring playwrights as possible through:
- Script Submission Windows are opportunities for playwrights to submit a script for feedback and to mark the start of a longer conversation and journey for both of us.
- Writing Resources for playwrights packed with online inspirations including things to consider when writing a play, tutorials and tips from experienced playwrights.
- Workshops or opportunities to collaborate with other artists, directors and theatre-makers. Space to write and an access to a library of work. One to one dramaturgical support.
- A range of partnerships with organisations including English Touring Theatre, Tamasha Theatre Company, Graeae Theatre Company, Talawa Theatre Company, Eclipse Theatre Company