Introduction to the Bruntwood Prize Toolkit

The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 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 5th June. Whatever your writing experience, we want to hear from you!

The Royal Exchange Theatre, is the home of the Bruntwood Prize, along with all the partners of the Prize we share in the excitement that new plays are not only the life blood of the theatre but that the act of writing a play is political.  It is a privilege to experience new imaginations flexing their muscles through the form of theatre.  A new play can shine a light on the darkest corners of human experience, it can introduce us to new ways of thinking and tell stories that we need to hear.  Through the Prize, we encounter genuinely new ideas and have access to new stories and new voices that are quietly revolutionary. And in a world that seems increasingly confusing, fractured and insular, we need the communal experience of theatre and the clamorous voices of playwrights now more than ever.

The Prize celebrates and nurtures the craft of playwriting and we are delighted that so many people who  submit their work  go on to forge relationships through the Prize, benefit from a range of opportunities supported by the Prize and be great advocates for what the Prize can do.  So we have commissioned 9 of the country’s most exciting playwrights, many of whom have either been shortlisted or won a Bruntwood Prize to share their experiences with you.

Every  week, we will post a new session to take you through the steps of writing a play.  From blank page to completed script and support for re-drafting, each session will have some exercises, questions to ask yourself about your work and examples from each playwright. We have asked the playwrights to use examples from their own work to try and help you understand the process they have been through and how they have used some of the exercises and suggestions they are sharing to support their own work.

The sessions will cover character, story, dialogue, structure, theatricality and re-drafting.  They will also point you in the direction of some of the other amazing content on the website which will support you  to undertake exercises,  and try out new ways of getting your ideas down and shaping them into something that can come to life on the stage.

Writers write in completely different ways, for very different reasons.  There is nothing you SHOULD do when starting or developing a play – there is no RIGHT and WRONG – only what works for you and how you convey your ideas, your ambition, your stories and your theatrical intention for the work.

Maybe you’ve written some poetry, or a short story, or a novella, or some song lyrics, or a film script – or none of the above and are just curious to explore what it might be like to write a script.  Writing is a brave act – to commit to getting ideas down on paper, creating characters, taking them on a journey,and having them change the world around them, thinking about imagery and theatricality.  We’re here to help with all of that.

Throughout the submission window, before the deadline on 5th June, we will take you through the journey of writing the play. We hope the sessions will encourage you to stick with it and complete your play and submit it for the Prize.

 

So don’t let that blank page taunt you anymore.  Don’t let the stories, characters and images in your mind stay there – release them onto the page!

 

WEEK ONE: Getting Started by Royal Exchange Theatre Dramaturg Suzanne Bell

Check out the full range of forthcoming learning resources here

1 Feb 2019

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