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Tuesday, April 26, 2011


New writers are invited to apply for the second phase of the South African New Plays Writing Programme.

The Programme is presented by the Wits Theatre in partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture, the British Council, Sustained Theatre UK, the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, Artscape, the South African State Theatre and the at Joburg Theatre.

“The Programme has been conceived to provide support in the space that exists between the idea for a play and the final draft of that play for production,” explains Ashraf Johaardien, general manager of the Wits Theatre. “In this way the Programme is intended as a resource for both new writers and producing theatres interested in developing and programming contemporary South African work,’ he adds.

Launched by Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile at the Wits Theatre during January 2011, the first phase of the programme saw 20 writers from across South Africa participating in up-skilling workshops facilitated by Christopher Rodriguez and Ola Animashawun from the UK together with Greg Homann from the Wits School of Arts.

To be considered for the second phase of the Programme, new writers are invited to submit a 10-page writing sample in the form of a scene, a couple of scenes or even a short play that could be developed into a full length work. Submissions should not have been produced previously.

Submissions will be judged on the following criteria: sense of space and/or use of stage, originality of subject/theme/idea, strength and individuality of the writer’s voice.

Selected applicants must be available to attend all five workshop days during the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown (June 30 to July 10 2011).

The workshop will be followed by online mentoring and development and a subsequent workshop period in Johannesburg November. The first year of the Programme will lead to readings of selected works at the State Theatre in Pretoria. The long term aim of the Programme is to select a number of pieces to be fully developed during 2012 and 2013 for possible production in South Africa and/or rehearsed readings and production in the UK.

Interested writers are invited to submit applications as a single Word document together with the following information: One-page CV including contact details; One page letter of motivation, and writing sample (minimum of ten-page) for development (must be original and must not have been previously produced, developed or published)

Applications should be submitted via e-mail to by no later than May 19, 2011. There will be bursaries to cover accommodation, travel and per diems for writers selected.

All successful candidates will be notified by June 3, 2011. Exact dates of the workshops at the National Arts Festival will be confirmed before the end of May. If applicants have not received a response by June 3, they haven’t been successful this time around.