Mikron, the country’s most prolific touring company, is looking for writers.
The Mikron Writers Scheme has been set up to widen the pool of writing talent, in order to meet the specific demands of this unique 43-year-old theatre company. Selected writers will participate in a tailor-made development process, working alongside professional dramaturgs, directors and actors, with the potential of a full-length commission at the end of the scheme, which will go on tour nationally and be paid above minimum industry rates.
(Please note that Mikron is a Northern based company. Whilst this opportunity is open to all, it should be borne in mind that the writer’s fee – which will be above industry minimum – will include all necessary travel.)
In recent years, the development of new writing at Mikron has become more formalised and structured – providing a focused, nurturing environment for new and experienced writers alike. Their goal is to find working relationships with writers new to them, essential for the company’s artistic evolution.
About Mikron shows: In their own words:
Mikron employs four actors every year, two male and two female, all of whom have at least one musical instrument and strong singing capabilities. Live music is integral to the company’s output. The tour is split into two parts: the summer months are spent touring Britain’s waterways by narrowboat with the company pitching up in pub gardens, parks, marinas and allotments; then in the Autumn, they move indoors, playing arts centers, museums, pubs, clubs and civic/town/village halls. The specifics of Mikron’s production criteria strongly influence the aesthetics of its output. It is essential that writers not only understand the challenges posed by such a varied performance schedule (as well as minimal set, props, costume and no reliance on electricity) but more importantly, that they embrace them. Necessity being the mother of invention, our unusual playing restraints are our greatest virtue.
How the scheme works: The scheme itself is unpaid. However, participation will place you on an immediate shortlist for commission. The process is a truncated version of the model Mikron currently uses in the development of their annual two new plays. The development opportunity, which runs from October to December 2014, will be structured as follows:
- Briefing session at Mikron’s base in Marsden, West Yorkshire. Two hour session (afternoon or evening according to what suits the majority) enabling writers to meet the company’s artistic director, producer, and dramaturg, to get the low-down on how the company operates, what they’re looking for, as well as an opportunity for you to ask questions. You’ll be given a choice of three subjects to go away and do a bit of work on, all subjects that Mikron would be likely to commission a play about. Your choice isn’t a test. Choose the one that whets your artistic whistle.
- You’ll have three weeks to research and come up with a play idea, submitting an outline/treatment including at least two contrasting sample scenes. They’ll be looking at how you respond to the brief – hopefully with originality, flair and wit as well as an understanding of what Mikron is about. Evidence of some musical understanding is crucial – the function and placing of songs in your play (the commissioned writer will eventually be working alongside a composer and musical director). You’ll get a chance to look at previous treatments for reference.
- You’ll receive written feedback on your idea and script sample.
- You will then have a week to submit a second draft of your sample scenes or another scene. They’re looking to see that prospective writers can take notes onboard and commit to rewrites in an open, engaged manner.
- This second draft will then be read and workshopped at a half day script-in-hand session in Marsden, with actors and a director. You will be required to attend – the session is for you.
- You will have a further week to come up with your third and final draft.
What to submit: Writers should submit the following:
- An expression of interest detailing relevant experience and why you’d be interested in the scheme and writing for Mikron.
- One example of your work that you deem most appropriate (no film scripts).
- Whether you would prefer an afternoon or evening session for the initial briefing.
Research into the company is recommended. There’s plenty to be found online. If you haven’t already seen a Mikron show, writers invited onto the Scheme will be required to do so. Current tour dates can be found on the website www.mikron.org.uk. Don’t be put off if you haven’t had your work produced before. Mikron has a strong commitment to new talent.
How to apply: Send your materials to firstname.lastname@example.org. (This is also the address to contact with any questions.)
Deadline: 2 October 2014
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