Alphabetti Theatre support emerging and established artists to explore, experiment and discover excellence. To do this we have a range of opportunities, particularly for keen writers, to get involved with in order to develop their work. Have a read below and click through the links to see which opportunities might suit you. If there's nothing listed that you feel applies to you then get in touch with us to see what we can do to support you!
Just Write - opportunities for new theatre writers
Just Write is an exciting way for theatre writers in North East England to grow their skills, create quality theatre, and see their work produced on stage.
Starting in January 2019 and supported by an initial 12 month grant from Arts Council England, our programmes will help writers take important early steps in their careers. We’re going to be running short courses, workshops to develop one-act plays, a mentoring scheme with experienced writing professionals, and informal gatherings. There will be opportunities throughout the year to have new work performed by some of the region’s finest actors.
We are also launching a North East Writer’s Community – run for writers, by writers – and offering participants the chance to win commissions from Alphabetti Theatre, Coracle and The Six Twenty. Around 140 performing artists will be involved in Just Write during 2019, and 45 writers will get to see their work produced.
We aim to make writing accessible to anyone who is serious about putting words into actor’s mouths. You need to be over 16 and living in North East England, but you can get stuck into our programmes regardless of previous experience. All we ask is that you start by taking part in a Write Something short course. From there you can get involved in the rest.
Just Write isn’t one thing. It’s lots of things, under one banner. A series of writing programmes with real opportunities to progress. It’s a chance to start your writing journey, grow your talent, get serious about making theatre, and to…well…just write!
Who is behind Just Write?
Just Write is led by Ben Dickenson, Artist Development Manager at Alphabetti Theatre and Executive Producer of City of Dreams. The Just Write programmes are delivered in association with Alphabetti Theatre, with creative direction from Ali Pritchard, and with help from our partners at Coracle and The Six Twenty.
The 2019 Just Write programme is an Arts Council England funded project.
1. Write Something
Join 14 other early career writers to develop skills for theatre writing, in a supportive environment. This short course of 5 weeks will help you develop your own writing process, exploring character development, story construction, dialogue and monologue, and providing you with plenty of time to write.
By the end of the programme, each participant will have created a 5 minute script for up 2 actors. On week 6, the plays will be read by actors in front of a public audience.
Taking part in Write Something is the best way to introduce yourself to Alphabetti Theatre - the better we know you, the better we can work together. You will only be considered for other Just Write opportunities if you have completed a Write Something course.
- Spring – 5th February to 5th March (showback 12th March)
- Summer – 12th June to 17th July (showback 23rd July)
- Autumn – 9th October to 6th November (showback 12th November)
Where: Aphabetti Theatre, rehearsal room
Who: Anyone, from the experienced to new starters
Cost: £20 (book online via our What’s On pages here)
2. Write Longer
Want an opportunity to share a new one-act play with other writers? What about having the play read by actors, in a safe space? Or workshop it with dramaturgs and theatre companies?
That’s what Write Longer is all about.
We’ll be running 6 workshops in spring and summer 2019. At least 6 writers will get to hear their play read at each workshop – up to 40 writers in total. As our actors read your play, Just Write mentors and dramaturgs will share ideas, advice, and guidance on how to develop your script to the next stage.
But that’s not all…
Artistic leads from Alphabetti Theatre, The Six Twenty and Coracle will be talent-spotting at each workshop, looking for scripts to turn into productions. 3 writers will win a £500 commission to develop their play, ahead of a professional production by one of the companies later in the year.
Write Longer is a hot-house for developing new plays and new creative relationships. If you have an existing creative relationship with Alphabetti Theatre, or have completed the Write Something course, then you can submit your one-act play for consideration. You must have a complete draft of the play by the submission deadline to be considered.
- Spring workshops – 26th April, 27th April or 28th April, 10am to 6pm
- Summer workshops – 31st May, 1st June or 2nd June, 10am to 6pm
Where: Alphabetti Theatre
Who: Writers who have completed the Write Something course
Cost: £25 (book via private link sent once application accepted)
Application Form: Write_Longer_Application_Form.docx
3. Three Shorts, Write Faster and the Alphabetti Christmas Cabaret
We’re serious about offering progression and commissioning opportunities to writers. That’s why Write Something graduates will be given the opportunity to be considered as participants in Write Faster, or as writers for the Alphabetti Christmas Cabaret and our September 2019 production Three Shorts.
Write Faster is a popular night of inventive seat-of-your pants theatre making, involving writers and actors making up a new play on the spot. In 2019 we will be giving Just Write participants the chance to take part and receive a small fee as reward for having a crazy-fun night.
Three Shorts was Alphabetti’s first in-house production at our former venue – upstairs at the Dog and Parrot pub – in 2013. The writers were Janet Plater, Louise Taylor and our Artistic Director Ali Pritchard. Each produced a quality original short play, around 30 minutes in length linked by the theme of clothing. We haven’t decided our 2019 theme yet, but the format is the same and the show will run for a week in September to open our autumn season. We will be commissioning 3 new writers from the Just Write programme and paying each a fee.
Alphabetti’s Christmas Cabaret is an established alternative to the usual festive fayre. It consists of 3 one-person plays that take a fresh, often left-field, look at the present-giving mayhem that descends on us every December. Previous writers include Gary Kitching, Steve Byron, Mhairi Ledgerwood, Michael Brown and Christina Dawson. We will be commissioning 3 new writers for December 2019, with a fee each.
Every writer commissioned will receive dramaturgical support from the Just Write creative team, or Alphabetti Theatre, and be part of making some fantastic theatre productions.
If these opportunities interest you, then you’ll need to have taken part in the Write Something course first. We will let those writers know about submission deadlines and criteria throughout the year.
4. Writer Mentoring
We want writers to have the best possible help to develop their ideas, skills and careers. And who is better to give that help than people who are already bringing their ideas to the stage, in skilful ways, as part of blossoming writing careers?
We’re going to match new writers with some slightly more experienced ones and pay you to talk to each other, for an hour or so a month. There will be around 3 opportunities for mentoring every month. If you have completed a Write Something course and think this would help you, let the course leader know.
North East Writer’s Community
We’re going to establish a new writer’s community, based at Alphabetti Theatre. We know writing can be a lonely art form. Sometimes you need other people to bounce ideas off, or advice and guidance about those vital steps in your career.
The Writer’s Community will be a space to talk to other writers, to give and receive support, and make valuable new contacts.
We will open up Alphabetti’s rehearsal room once a month for you to meet, talk, write, create, get advice and come up with brilliant ideas. We will offer you the odd free play text and show tickets, as well as helping finding guest speakers who can give food advice to the Community. Who will those speakers be? That’s up to you - it’s your community!
The Writers Community will be accessed by Write Something graduates, and others already taking early steps in their careers. This does not have to be a full-time career. The only requirement is that participants have ambition to see their work produced professionally.
When: The last Wednesday of every month, 6pm-7.30pm
First meeting - Wednesday 27th February
- Guest speakers Ben Dickenson & Ali Pritchard
Where: Aphabetti Theatre, bar
Who: All welcome, just turn up
Cost: £2 suggested donation to cover costs
We pride ourselves on being approachable, so drop us an email and let’s start chatting.
We are interested in programming new and original work across the performing arts; however, if you’ve got an idea that doesn’t quite sit in that section, get in contact and sell it to us! Please note we do not programme amateur dramatics - it has an essential position in the ecology of performing arts, but unfortunately that position is not with us.
We are ultimately interested in creating relationships with artists and companies, to enable us to build a community and a network. Alphabetti can only offer artists a box office split but it is always weighted in the artist’s favour. Due to Alphabetti’s size, we are unable to offer guarantees.
If you want to be programmed, get in touch with our Artistic Director, Ali, and he’ll get back to you as soon as he can. If you still haven’t had a reply within a week or two, give him a cheeky nudge or better still come into the venue. Contact Ali at .
We are a small team of staff here at Alphabetti, but we have a large and lovely family of volunteers who generously give their time to support us. Most of our volunteers work on the theatre's box office, but we have also enlisted volunteers to help us in the office, in our workshop and prop store, and with building and painting. Many of our volunteers have gone on to work with us in one form or another, whether that be in writing or performing, working on the bar, even setting up the bookshop!
Becoming a volunteer for Alphabetti is a great way to get involved behind the scenes, meet people and make connections, see lots of great artistic work, and be part of a wonderful community in our city. We're firm believers in 'the more, the merrier', so we're always happy to welcome new members.
There are currently no vacancies at Alphabetti Theatre.