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West End’s Haymarket to host young writers scheme

Rehearsal of Emma Whipday's Shakespeare's Sister for Pitch Your Play in 2015 Rehearsal of Emma Whipday's Shakespeare's Sister for Pitch Your Play in 2015
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London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket is offering three young writers the opportunity to develop a new play that will be showcased on its stage.

As part of the West End theatre’s Pitch Your Play scheme, young creatives aged 17 to 30 will be invited to pitch a new work to a panel of experts.

Three successful applicants will then be provided with space, administration and marketing support for four weeks, working with Masterclass Trust – the theatre’s in-house education charity – to produce a staged reading for an industry audience.

Speaking in support of the scheme, The Ferryman playwright Jez Butterworth said: “Twenty-five years ago, I gave up my first and last paying job to try to write for a living. I swiftly felt alone.

“A scheme such as Pitch Your Play would have felt like a lifeline. Witnessing work rehearsed and hearing it read aloud is oxygen for fledgling playwrights.”

He added: “I’m a bit jealous of those taking part, who will hear something for the first time: the strange and familiar voice, which startles, haunts, galvanises and nourishes them enough to try again.”

Either stand-alone writers or teams consisting of a writer, producer and director – who must all be aged between 17 to 30 – are invited to apply with a finished play.

The deadline for applications is March 13. The pitches will take place at the end of May and the successful plays will be announced in June.

Masterclass is asking for all applications to include a short synopsis of the play, which must be a new, unpublished piece of writing, as well as a hard copy of the first 30 pages and a covering letter.

This is the third time Pitch Your Play will take place. The scheme ran previously in 2013 and 2015. The initiative is supported by the Noel Coward Foundation.

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