HighTide First Commissions Scheme 2018 – 2019

First Commissions is HighTide’s attachment programme for writers and theatre makers. Every year, they work with a number of emerging writers who have never received a full length play commission. Over an 18 month period HighTide then aid them to:

  • Create a new theatre piece
  • Make an application to Arts Council England’s Project Grants to cover a full commission fee and development budget
  • Produce two rehearsed readings, showings or workshops in professional theatres or cultural organisations
  • Collaborate with a wider creative team, usually in the form of a director or facilitator
  • Engage an established theatre artist to act as a mentor and dramaturg

HighTide’s aim is to produce new theatre works by artists who are yet to receive their first commission. HighTide produces well-resourced debut productions with substantial research and development periods, which benefit from development with HighTide associates and audience feedback. HighTide’s artists are new, adventurous and diverse in terms of ethnicity, political philosophy and socio-economic backgrounds.

This year they are excited to be working with 3 diverse and innovative partner organisations; ConeyEastern Anglesand Tamasha for the First Commissions programme.



Midday on 14th June 2018. 

Shortlisted writers will be invited to interview in Central London w/c 2nd July 2018.


How to apply 

HighTide, along with each partner organisation, will outline the kind of artists and ideas we are looking to develop. We will then ask artists to apply for one or more of the strands that they think are best suited to them and their idea.

Hightide are looking for playwrights, theatre makers or artists with a burning idea who have vivid, theatrical voices. They are also interested in artists who may not necessarily identify as a ‘writer’ but have a desire to create theatrical, relevant and innovative work. Each strand and partner of the First Commissions scheme this year has a slightly different focus:

HighTide – The standalone HighTide strand is looking for writers across England with a great idea for a new play

Coney – The partnership with Coney is looking for talented theatre makers or artists with an exciting idea for a new piece of theatre which the audience can play

Eastern Angles – The partnership with Eastern Angles is looking for writers based in the East of England or writing about the East of England

Tamasha – The partnership with Tamasha is looking for writers of colour from across England with a great idea for a new play



Please read carefully the application pack for each strand of the 2018/2019 First Commission scheme. Each strand is structured slightly differently depending on the partner organisation.




Published on:
18 May 2018


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