Writing for Performance

Run in partnership with: Royal Court Theatre, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, The Faculty of Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados & the British Council.

This project will support 12 writers from Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago to explore and develop their practice. We are looking for storytellers with an interest in writing for theatre and live performances. You may have no previous experience writing for theatre or for stage.

This group will allow space and support for each writer to work on a new text over a period of 10 months, engaging in a dialogue between different traditions, forms and cultural approaches to making work. It will be co-facilitated by freelance writers, directors and dramaturgs who have worked regularly for the Royal Court Theatre including Anthony Simpson-Pike, debbie tucker green and Myah Jeffers as well as a range of leading artists from Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago.

Project Structure

September 2022 - January 2023 - Online Writers Group

  • Online sessions twice a month to be facilitated by writers and artists from the UK and from the Caribbean.
  • The group will read and discuss work together and exchange different approaches to writing.
  • Each writer will begin work on the first draft of a new project during this period.
  • This phase will include one on one meetings between each writer and the team of facilitators.

c. February 2023 (dates tbc) - Writers Workshop Jamaica

  • A 6 day intensive writing workshop hosted at Edna Manley College in Kingston.
  • Writers will reflect together on their first drafts with the group and facilitating artists.
  • This retreat will allow for work to be read together, discussed and for individual meetings with facilitating artists.
  • The workshop will also allow for dedicated writing time and include guest sessions from visiting artists.

c. May / June 2023 (date tbc) - Writers Workshop Trinidad, Live Streaming in Barbados

  • A second 6 day intensive workshop hosted in Trinidad.
  • Writers will come together with the facilitating artists and a group of actors and performers to explore and develop the second draft of their text.
  • This workshop will be a practical exploration of each writer’s text in performance and will lead towards a public sharing of each writer’s work with an audience, which will be live streamed to an audience in Barbados as well. 
  • The team at the Royal Court and partner organisations in the project will engage in ongoing conversations with artists after this final phase.

In the case of travel or other disruption due to covid-19, dates and travel plans may be adapted or amended in order to make delivery of the project possible.

General Support and Access for Special Needs

The programme will provide support for each writer to engage with the programme as outlined. This will include:

  • Covering travel, accommodation and per diems for writers when they are working away from home during the in-person workshop phases in Jamaica and Trinidad.
  • A stipend to cover each of the two workshop phases of the project.
  • A fee to support each writer’s work on their chosen project.
  • We are committed to ensuring that this group is accessible for all, including persons with disabilities. We will support any special needs that participants may have. Please let us know the details of these needs in the relevant part of the application process. Information given is strictly confidential and will in no way affect your application.

Who Can Apply

  • Writers eligible to apply must be aged 18 or over.
  • Writers must be from and based in either Barbados, Jamaica or Trinidad & Tobago, with availability to engage with the dates as outlined.
  • Writers need not have prior experience writing for stage, but should have experience of writing for theatre, ie a play, or in another form whether that’s poetry, spoken word, lyrics, fiction or for screen.
  • The focus of this project is on writers at an emerging stage of their practice, so applicants should have no more than five years experience writing professionally for theatre.

How to Apply

We are asking writers wanting to apply to provide the following:

  • An extract of your written work in any form or genre of maximum 10 pages in length (we also accept audio clips of up to two minutes). 
  • A short summary of your work as an artist to date (no more than 500 words).
  • To complete the basic application form to be found on the button below.

 Click here

The deadline for applications is Monday, 22 August 2022

Selection Process

All applications will be read and assessed by a team made up of the artists facilitating the project based in the UK and Caribbean.

We will contact all applicants with the result of the application process in September.

Please note that the first session for meeting will be Saturday 17th September.

Selection Criteria

In making their selection, the team will aim to form a coherent group that represents writers from across Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, taking into account every element of each artist’s application.

Our aim is to bring together artists with different backgrounds and styles.

If you have any questions about the project or application please contact writing.for.theatre@gmail.com.

Meet our partners

The Faculty of Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados

The Faculty of Culture, Creative and Performing Arts was established in October 2019 and officially opened on August 1, 2020 as the ninth Faculty of The University of the West Indies. The Faculty is driven by a focus on deepening critical studies of Caribbean culture and identity as well as global economic imperatives that centres the creative industry within the academy. The central aim is to promote the study of culture and cultural expression at The UWI as an important area of scholastic and creative inquiry and research and, by so doing, stimulate academic discourse, encourage creative practice, engage in community outreach and promote the understanding of Caribbean culture and identity regionally and within a broader global context.

The Faculty comprises the Department of Cultural Studies, responsible for the delivery of courses in cultural and Caribbean studies, and the Department of Creative and Performing Arts, which offers courses in dance, film, music and theatre.

Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts

The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA) is the premier arts college in the English-speaking Caribbean. The College is known for a rich tradition of excellence in the arts, and the leading provider of higher education in the visual and performing arts, and arts management. The College is housed in the culturally diverse Creative City of Music – Kingston. 

EMCVPA is invested in promoting the cultural diversity of the Caribbean and enriching the aesthetics sensibilities of its students through quality education and training in the visual and performing arts. With the School of Arts Management, the College further taps into the unlimited potential of the Cultural and Creative industries to bolster economies and create meaningful careers for its graduates. 

The School of Drama at EMCVPA is the eldest and leading Caribbean centre for training and praxis in drama and theatre in the English-speaking Caribbean.  

The Royal Court Theatre 

The Royal Court Theatre is the writers' theatre. It is a leading force in world theatre for cultivating and supporting writers – undiscovered, emerging and established. Through the writers, the Royal Court is at the forefront of creating restless, alert, provocative theatre about now. We open our doors to the unheard voices and free thinkers that, through their writing, change our way of seeing. Over 120,000 people visit the Royal Court in Sloane Square, London, each year and many thousands more see our work elsewhere through transfers, international tours, digital platforms, our residencies across London, and our site-specific work. Through all our work we strive to inspire audiences and influence future writers with radical thinking and provocative discussion. The Royal Court’s extensive development activity encompasses a diverse range of writers and artists and includes an ongoing programme of writers’ attachments, readings, workshops and playwriting groups. Alongside work with playwrights and artists outside the UK through the work of our International Programme.