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Arcola seeks BAME or refugee playwright for main stage commission

Playwright Oladipo Agboluaje in rehearsal for New Nigerians at the Arcola Theatre. Photo: Alex Brenner Playwright Oladipo Agboluaje in rehearsal for New Nigerians at the Arcola Theatre. Photo: Alex Brenner
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London’s Arcola Theatre has announced a new commissioning opportunity for black, Asian, minority ethnic or refugee playwrights.

The theatre, based in Dalston, will commission and support a new main-stage play by an emerging to mid-career BAME or refugee writer.

It is commissioning the work in partnership with the newly established Orseis Trust, which aims to encourage creative excellence and amplify new voices.

Artistic director at the Arcola Mehmet Ergen said: “The Orseis Trust and Arcola Theatre co-commission is a perfect extension of our new writing programme PlayWrought, which has so far brought four new plays on to our stages, and our artist development facility ArcolaLAB, which supports BAMER artists and theatre makers all year round.

“We want to support writers who have already found a way to get their early work out into the world, and who want to take a step up – to tell big stories on our largest stage, and to the widest audience possible.”

The Arcola will commission one playwright aged 18 or over who has lived in the UK for at least two years, and has had at least one but no more than three professional stage productions in the UK.

In addition, the playwright must not previously have received a paid commission for a full-length play that has subsequently been produced.

Following the commission, the writer will have access to the resources and expertise in the Arcola’s existing new-writing programmes, including research and development space, dramaturgy and readings, and one-to-one mentoring from Ergen.

The winning play will premiere as part of the Arcola’s 2018/19 season.

Applications via the theatre’s website close at 5pm on September 19.

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