Papatango Theatre Company, a multi-award-winning new writing company specialising in talent development, and the Quarry Theatre, a brand new two space venue in the heart of Bedford, are launching a joint scheme to discover and develop local writers.
This scheme will help position the new theatre as a creative community hub, developing both participants and an audience in Bedford and culminating in a professional showcase event to register the venue on the UK’s touring circuit.
Bedford currently has no major professional theatre, and very limited provision for talent development initiatives. Papatango want to help a wonderful new venue maximise its impact, develop local writers and build a local audience.
They will invite open and anonymous applications (consisting of a cover letter, CV and sample scene) from writers from across Bedford. Up to 20 applicants will then be selected to take part in a six month development programme, divided in two groups of up to 10 writers. Monthly workshops led by Papatango and hosted at the Quarry Theatre will develop a new script from each writer.
The two most promising scripts will receive staged readings with a professional cast at a showcase evening for the theatre, a strong declaration of the new venue’s role in the community and an opportunity to alert professional touring companies and agents to a theatre in a previously under-served town.
Outside the monthly workshops, Papatango will also help the Quarry Theatre to organise informal networking events for these writers each month, to facilitate a longer-term creative network in Bedford to sustain this impact and continue to build links with local theatre-makers and audiences.
In the longer term, we hope one or more of the scripts produced in this process will go on to a full production in the venue. More widely, this new group of Bedford writers will also be encouraged to submit their scripts to other theatres and companies, helping place the Quarry Theatre on the map as a producing, as well as receiving, house.
November 2015: Open to applications
December 2015: Select top 20 applicants
January – June 2016: Monthly day-long writing workshops
June 2016: Top 2 scripts receive further one-to-one dramaturgy
July 2016: Staged readings at venue showcase event
July 2016: Writers and venue continue creative networking; scripts sent out to programmers/producers and Quarry Theatre promoted as a creative hub