Shakespeare’s Globe has set up a writers-in-residence programme, in which three playwrights will pen bespoke work for its stages.
Writers Sami Ibrahim, Laura Lomas and Sabrina Mahfouz have been named as the first three playwrights in the inaugural scheme, called the Scriptorium.
The 12-month residency will mentor three writers each year, during which time they will create new work for the outdoor Globe Theatre and the candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, as well work together to create a production for the main stage. This will take place in summer 2020.
Globe artistic director Michelle Terry said: “For the first time in 400 years, the Globe has resident writers once again. With us for a year, Laura, Sabrina and Sami – three most incredible and unique voices – will be writing work bespoke not only to the architecture of our playhouses, but bespoke to the players who will perform the work.”
The Scriptorium, which takes its name from medieval rooms which were devoted to writing, will see the writers work alongside the Globe’s resident ensemble and be mentored by established playwrights who have written for the London theatre.
The Globe’s research department will also be involved in the programme, and the writers will attend rehearsals, workshops and performances throughout the year.
Following the residency, the playwrights will pitch individual treatments for the Globe’s stage, with a view to a potential commission.
Terry said the theatre’s new programme showed it would continue “to recognise the vital role that writers play as we not only look to our past to tell us who we were but also at our present to tell us who we could become”.
Lomas, whose plays include Joanne, The Blue Road and Chaos, said: “The Globe has always been a place for radical and transformative work, that by the very nature of the architecture, was designed to be accessible to all. I’m humbled and excited to be here.”