Write to Play is a bold new writing initiative committed to developing the skills and experience of D/deaf and disabled writers. Over the course of one year, five writers will each write and develop a full-length play through collaboration with some of the most creative minds in the industry.
Applications for year six will open on Friday 3 August 2018, closing on Monday 3 September 2018, open to people who identify as D/deaf and/or disabled living in South West England and with some experience of writing for theatre. Full details on how to apply can be found on Graeae’s website at www.graeae.org
The first five years of Write to Play have developed the skills of twenty-five playwrights, many of whom have gone on to have work produced professionally. In August 2017,Graeae and the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester produced for the first time a full length play from a Write to Play graduate. Cosmic Scallies by Jackie Hagan (from year 2 of the programme) premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017, followed by a run at the Royal Exchange Theatre. Both runs played to sell-out houses, 4-star reviews and audience acclaim.
Year five of the programme, for D/deaf and disabled writers of colour, is currently in session, in partnership with the Bush Theatre, Soho Theatre, Ovalhouse, Talawa and Tamasha. The writers are Leanna Benjamin, Lettie Precious, Shahid Iqbal Khan, Charlotte Maxwell and Kathryn Golding.
The year-long Write to Play programme includes Playwriting 101 (an intensive craft-focussed playwriting course), specialist workshops, mentoring sessions and opportunities to have short pieces of work performed in front of an audience. The programme will not only provide the writers with the opportunity to develop their skills, it will also introduce a new generation of D/deaf and disabled playwrights to the wider theatre landscape.
Graeae will announce the successful writers on the sixth year of the programme in late October 2018.
The Write to Play programme (incorporating Play Labs and Play Chats) is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Arts Council England and The Backstage Trust.