Previously unpublished plays by 11 British writers – some of whom have not had their work performed for 30 years – are to be given a new lease of life under a project from publishing and rights company Stage Scripts.
The 11 plays will be published and “championed” by the organisation, and were chosen by a panel of theatre directors and producers as “deserving many opportunities for second, third and many future productions”.
Each of the 11 British writers has had plays professionally produced by theatres before, at venues including the Soho Theatre, the Arcola and the Orange Tree. However, the plays have not been given second productions since their initial premieres.
“Some works have remained unperformed for 30 years, others have been seen in the last couple of years but could also be lost in the noise and glitter of new premiere works coming through,” Stage Scripts said.
Stage Scripts launched its search for the plays in September 2018. The project was made possible by a donation to the company in acknowledgement of the work undertaken by managing director David Waters over the past 10 years to bring work to full publication.
“A playwright spends years honing a work, often with no commission, sometimes for a single production. There may be acclaim and five-star excitement for the initial run. There may be awards and grants available for first productions and new initiatives, but then the silence can settle and the playwright is left with nothing more,” Waters said.
He added: “This search has been established to bring some noise and light to some of these works and to help the producers and theatres I serve to choose excellent plays by current professional writers who deserve multiple productions.”
The 11 chosen plays will be revealed on September 24 at London’s Charing Cross Theatre.
Stage Scripts plans to apply for funding to enable full readings of the plays to be cast and produced.