2020 has been a tremendously difficult year for theatre and the artists who make it. Writing a play takes time, head-space, huge bravery, commitment and creativity. For many, none of these things were possible during this time and it is vital that we bring compassion and understanding to this. When the Theatre closed, we had just completed an unsolicited script window and were pleased to be able to feed back on the scripts we had received during that time.
Back in March 2020, when the Theatre closed, we couldn't have imagined the impact that this pandemic would have on our Company. It has been so severe that to keep the organisation alive, the Exec and Board had to take the difficult decision to make many roles redundant. It has been incredibly sad and painful for everyone involved. We are now beginning to try and settle a bit and find a way forward for the Company. As always, a priority for us is being able to find ways to support playwrights across our region. However, we needed to do this once we felt we could provide the appropriate level of support, focus and dedicated attention that each script deserves.
We are now delighted to let you know we will be accepting unsolicited script submissions from 1 - 28 February 2021.
The Script Submission Window gives us the opportunity to discover new voices, new stories and new playwrights who are based in our region (North West).
We recognise that everyone has been through a great deal of both professional and personal upheaval over the last twelve months. Through our various platforms, we have endeavoured to find ways to continue to support people interested in writing. However, finding the capacity to be creative and the time and space to complete a full-length play can be extremely challenging.
We welcome work by playwrights who demonstrate the skill and ambition to rise to the challenge of writing for our unique spaces. We aim to build long-term, supportive relationships with writers and invest in their talent. While it is very unlikely that a script sent during our Script Window will receive a full production at the Theatre, it could mark the start of a longer conversation and journey for both of us.
As an introduction to the theatre, please consider whether this is the best example of your work at this stage of your development as a playwright. Only send your script to us when it is ready and the formatting is clear. Completing this draft of your play and sending it to a theatre is a major achievement and something of which to be proud. However, it is only the beginning of the journey…
Before you submit, please read the following Script Submission Guidelines:
A playwright living in the North West. We define the North West to include: Cheshire, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, Staffordshire and West Yorkshire.
Following the success of the anonymous script submission for the Bruntwood Prize, please remove your name and contact details from the script attachment. The reader will then read your script as an anonymous submission.
We will acknowledge receipt of your script and estimate how long it will take us to respond. Each script deserves dedicated time and attention so please bear with us. We will then offer feedback on the script. The aim of this feedback is to suggest where the play impressed or intrigued us and where we feel there may be potential to explore further.
This isn’t intended as a set of notes for a next draft or instructions on how to write the play more successfully but more a series of provocations and questions to hopefully enable you to write the play you want to write. If you do not wish to receive this feedback, please state this in your e-mail.
Upon receipt of your script we will send you a link to complete a short survey to help us monitor the effectiveness of our Equal Opportunities Policy. It should only take a few minutes to complete and all information will be treated confidentially and will be separate from your play submission and your personal details.
Please allow us up to 12 weeks from your submission to read and prepare our feedback to you. Kindly refrain from getting in touch within this time frame.
Please note that the Royal Exchange Theatre is not able to consider the following scripts: radio, television and film scripts, novels and poetry, adaptations, musicals or synopsis only submissions.