Jermyn Street Theatre seeking three female playwrights for commission

In late spring 2018, Jermyn Street Theatre is reviving Noel Coward’s great Tonight at 8.30. This is the first time in London since 1936 that all nine of Coward’s one-act plays will have been performed together.

Tonight at 8.30 explores themes of loneliness, relationships, family, fidelity, marriage, and performance. It does so with deep compassion and Coward’s characteristically sparkling wit. Playing in repertory with Tonight at 8.30 will be a new trio of one-act plays: Tomorrow at Noon.

Tomorrow at Noon will be a contemporary female response to Tonight at 8.30. Perhaps engaging with the mood, themes, characters or plot of one or more of the Tonight at 8.30 plays, each of the three Tomorrow at Noon plays will offer a vibrant 2018 reply. For this, Jermyn Street Theatre are seeking three female playwrights.

The three female playwrights will be given:
* Dramaturgical support to write a new one-act play during January – March 2018
* A £1000 commissioning fee
* The offer of a non-exclusive publishing deal with Oberon Books, who will publish Tomorrow at Noon
* A professional production, featuring three actors, which will play in rep for five weeks with Tonight at 8.30 during late spring 2018.

Applications to write for Tomorrow at Noon should be anonymous.  Rather than read full-length plays of all styles, they would like applicants to read Noel Coward’s play Still Life (which was later adapted to become the film Brief Encounter).

A copy of Still Life is downloadable from http://www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk/jobs/ under the file ‘bookscanlg’.

What to submit: A maximum five-page sample scene (it needn’t be the beginning) of a play responding to Still Life, and a maximum one-page synopsis for your play, which explains where your
scene fits in.

You might take one of the Still Life characters who interests you; transpose the story to the present day or the future; take one of the play’s themes and explore it in a totally different way; be interested by the style of Coward’s writing; write something else in the waiting-room setting or a modern version of it; argue with Coward or agree with him. It could be funny, witty, sad; it could be naturalistic or expressionistic; it could use contemporary theatrical devices or remain in the world of the well-made play.

They encourage you to put women at the heart of your submission and to think diversely about casting. But – crucially – they want to hear your voice and your story, not an imitation of Coward’s.

This will not be the play they finally commission. It’s purely an application exercise to see how you respond to the material and the challenge.

How to apply: To apply, please send the following to JSTtomorrowatnoon@gmail.com
1. An email with your name and contact details, and the title of your entry.
2. A single attachment (in Word and PDF). On the first page, please put a title for your suggested play, and your birthday minus the year (e.g. ‘Hope Springs / 25.12) but do not put your name, agent details or contact details! On the second page, please put the synopsis. On the third page (maximum of five pages), please put your sample scene.

Deadline: 10 November 2017 at 5pm

Source: Word of mouth

5 thoughts on “Jermyn Street Theatre seeking three female playwrights for commission”

  1. Hello Jermyn Street Theatre,

    Very excited by this, but a bit flummoxed by what you mean when you write: “A single attachment (in Word and PDF)”.

    I can just about spell I.T., and know how to send a Word document and, indeed a pdf, but together in one attachment?

    Grateful for any clarification!

    1. Hi Diane, we’re guessing this is a typo (word ‘or’ PDF) but might be best to contact the organisers directly to check. Please do post the answer if you hear back!

      1. Hi AC, thanks for your reply – I’m still waiting someone to get back to me…will post again in the event they do. Otherwise yes, let’s assume it’s either or.

        🙂

    1. Hi Elizabeth, sorry we just spotted your comment now! We just reposted this opportunity – we recommend contacting the organisers directly with any questions. Thanks!

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