The Space in London has launched an online theatre club and a programme of digital events to support new writers.
Eight playwrights have been commissioned to write duologues for an online festival, called 2.0 Fest, which will take place on July 31 and August 1.
The commissioned playwrights are Grace Chapman, Arthur Cole, Annie Fox, Francis Grin, Laura Horton, Gemma Lawrence, Kate Reid and Luke Stapleton.
As well as being streamed live during the festival, the duologues will also be recorded to be made available during lockdown.
Another strand of the Space’s digital programme is Locked Down, Looking Up, which will see 10 playwrights receive an online reading of their new plays, six directors develop and deliver 30 online workshops and three theatre companies perform online versions of shows that they were due to perform at the Space.
The playwrights who will receive online readings include Natalie Baker, Abigail Chandler, Katie Duncan, Sam Essame, Emma Griffiths, Katharine Jee, Lekha Desai Morrison, CJ Scuffins, Dan Shaw and Matt Wixey.
Locked Down, Looking Up and 2.0 Fest are funded with an emergency grant from Arts Council England.
The Space has also announced the Space Theatre Club, which will involve participants watching theatre online and then discussing it.
Artistic director Adam Hemming said: “We’re delighted to receive this backing from the Arts Council.
"Our aim has been to promote positive mental health through engaging creatively with theatre online. The feedback we’ve had so far has been that what we’re doing is valued and important, so we’re excited to have the opportunity to deliver even more."
Horton, who is one of the commissioned playwrights for the 2.0 Fest, said: "Like many people, just as I was about to hold readings for my first two full-length plays, they were cancelled.
"I truly thought a commission for an unestablished writer would be out of the question for a long while, so to get my first during lockdown has given me incredible energy and hope."
The Space will be hosting a special launch event for Locked Down, Looking Up on Zoom on May 21, which will feature extracts of plays and interviews with the artists involved.