Exciting New Playwriting Development Programme

The Mercury Theatre Colchester and Josef Weinberger Plays are delighted to be joining forces once again to present an exciting new playwriting development programme, designed to nurture and grow new creative talent in the East of England.

Over the next 9 months, Mercury Playwrights in association with Josef Weinberger Plays will support a group of new writers, to guide and mentor them through the process of creating their own full-length play or piece of theatre. Participants, who will be selected through an application process, will meet once a month from June 2020 for a series of online workshop sessions led by award-winning writer Kenny Emson. Emson, who has presented multiple sold out ‘writing for the stage’ workshops for the Essex based theatre both in person and online, will take mentees through a two-draft process, complimented by one-to-one dramaturgy support. Special guest writers confirmed so far include Anya Reiss, Rachel De-Lahay, Vickie Donoghue, Guleraana Mir and David Eldridge, all of whom will offer additional guidance and expertise.

To apply to take part in this exciting, free development programme, writers must send 5 pages of their best work – scripts, monologues, creative writing pieces – to script.submissions@mercurytheatre.co.uk by Friday 5 June.

“We are looking for fresh new voices, writers who are bold, ambitious and theatrically daring. To ensure we tell the most dynamic and varied stories, we are particularly keen to hear from writers who are underrepresented in this industry whether this be by class, disability, ethnicity, gender or sexuality. Together with Josef Weinberger Plays, it is our mission raise the playwrights of tomorrow.” Dilek Latif, Mercury Theatre Development Producer.

Entrants must be aged 18 or over and either be from or reside in the East of England to be considered for this incredible offering. Successful applicants will be announced on Friday 12 June, with the programme starting shortly after. Full Ts&Cs can be found at www.mercurytheatre.co.uk/playwrights
Mercury Playwrights is launched as part of the Colchester based theatre’s #MercuryOnline programme, which offers a range of free online activity for both creatives and audiences while their theatre is closed during lockdown. Publishing giants Josef Weinberger have already partnered with the theatre within this programme to present their Mercury Monologues competition, which saw 7 writers win £100 each for their winning, themed, 4 minute monologues. Mercury Monologues is now closed, but videos of the winning submissions read by paid professional actors can still be viewed on the theatre’s website and YouTube page.

I am delighted that Josef Weinberger Plays and Mercury Theatre continue to partner on exciting and engaging initiatives, unearthing new writers and helping to develop exciting new voices. Theatre should be a medium of perpetual creativity and Josef Weinberger Plays is at the forefront of inspiring and developing playwrights and supporting the realisation of new plays to be enjoyed by audiences across the globe.

James Cawood, Head of Plays at Josef Weinberger

For more information on Mercury Playwrights and the Mercury Online programme, visit www.mercurytheatre.co.uk