In partnership with Tramshed, Bloomsbury Radio & Macready Theatre
BLOOMSBURY FESTIVAL 2024 OPPORTUNITIES
Bloomsbury Festival is seeking submissions from emerging theatre writers and companies (aged 18+) to produce new work as part of our 2024 festival, in response to the theme ‘Humankind’. Scripts and theatre productions on this theme might explore human relationships between each other and the world around us, or topics including personal identity, culture, gender, empathy, self-development, and the physical body – kindness to ourselves or our planet or whatever else our theme inspires for you as a writer about being human!
We welcome both young emerging theatre writers/companies and more mature entries who are starting their professional careers. You may have recently been part of professional or academic development programmes in theatre or similar disciplines, or have had some prior experience producing your own work.
Bloomsbury Festival is a local festival based in central London so the production opportunities we offer are focused towards writers/companies with a connection to London through their home base or studies. We are therefore unable to offer travel or accommodation support for successful participants. We cannot not accept applications from people who live outside the UK for this call-out, although the festival may be able to provide a platform for professional international performances with their own funding who will be touring the UK in October 2024.
In the subject line of your email, please note which opportunity you are applying for: Bloomsbury Theatre 2024, Bloomsbury Radio 2024, or Macready Theatre 2024. Please state if you are applying for more than one opportunity and include in your email the details requested at the end of this document.
Entries close at 5pm on Monday 31st July, and the selected writers and theatre companies will be announced during Bloomsbury Festival 2023 (13th-22nd October).
The opportunities for 2024:
1. 3 x Opportunity to Present Work at Bloomsbury Festival 2024
£300 Bursary Towards Production
Offer of venue and rehearsal space, marketing and box office share at Bloomsbury Festival 2024
Of these winners, 1 x development opportunity with Tramshed in Woolwich to support rehearsal space to lead to the presentation of a new work at Bloomsbury Festival 2024.
We are offering opportunities to 3 emerging theatre writers/companies to present productions of new work that responds to the theme of ‘Humankind’ at next year’s festival.
The successful applicants will receive £300 bursary towards production, as well as the offer of venue and rehearsal space, marketing support and a box office share at Bloomsbury Festival 2024.
One winner will also receive support from the Tramshed in Woolwich in 2024 to support the presentation of their work at Bloomsbury Festival 2024. Tramshed will provide rehearsal space for 2-3 development days in between the first or second draft and rehearsal draft, and then 5 days of rehearsal space in preparation for the Bloomsbury Festival 2024 performance.
We are looking for completed scripts or new works for theatre currently in development. The length should be approximately 50 minutes, and we welcome applications from new companies wishing to establish themselves through this process. You should include details of your training, theatre and professional experience as relevant.
2. Bloomsbury Radio 2024 Radio Play Competition
Winning Writer’s Bursary towards fee and performers – £1,000
As part of Bloomsbury Festival 2024, the festival’s partner radio station Bloomsbury Radio is seeking submissions of completed new writing/theatre scripts in response to our 2024 festival theme ‘Humankind’ to be considered for a radio play production. The winning writer will be awarded a £1000 bursary to support their own fee and any performer fees/expenses related to the recording, with their work programmed to be produced and broadcast by Bloomsbury Radio as part of Bloomsbury Festival 2024.
We are looking for a completed script of approximately 50 minutes in length, which should be suitable for broadcast to a general adult audience. We expect the playwright to take into account that production will happen within a limited recording slot at a radio studio, with 1 day of rehearsal time and 1 day of studio time for the production. Given this, we recommend that the cast size of submitted plays be <4 actors.
This competition is specifically to support emerging radio writers, so plays submitted should be expressly written for radio or audio broadcast. We are not looking for plays adapted from theatre. As part of your submission, please include 50-100 words explaining why you have chosen radio as a medium to tell this story and/or detailing any previous experience writing for audio podcast or broadcast.
3. Macready Theatre 2024
Commission to write a script for Macready Theatre, through a script development process
Selected Writer’s Bursary – £1000
With Possibility to Attend Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2024
We are seeking an emerging writer to write a new play that responds to our 2024 festival theme ‘Humankind’ through a workshop and script development process with Macready Theatre Young Actors’ Ensemble. The selected writer will be awarded a £1000 bursary payment for the development of a full script for the Macready Theatre Young Actors’ Ensemble, supported by Macready Theatre and its sponsors Cemex and Rugby School Department of Theatre & Performing Arts. Bloomsbury Festival is able to facilitate any costs incurred travelling to workshops outside of London.
We are asking for submissions to contain:
a) a previously completed full script which does not have to relate to Bloomsbury Festival 2024’s theme ‘Humankind’, but which does show the writer has previously developed a script through an improvisation or devising process, and
b) an outline of the writer’s previous work with young performers.
The winning writer will work with a professional director and student performers aged 16-18 from Macready Theatre Young Actors’ Ensemble. The first workshop day with the director and student performers will take place during this year’s festival, on Monday 16th October 2023 – the writer must be available to attend. Further development will take place across the academic year 2023-24 at the Macready Theatre in Rugby, with the possibility to take the production to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2024, and/or return to Bloomsbury Festival 2024.
A further £100 contribution to the writer will be made available to visit the production if it is presented at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2024. Please note that Macready Theatre’s plans to tour the production will be subject to satisfactory development of the script alongside workshops.
Bloomsbury Theatre 2024: submit 1 script, or description of devised project and process, of approximately 50 minutes in length in response to the theme ‘Humankind’, and an outline of the writer’s/production company’s previous experience including earlier script where available.
Bloomsbury Radio 2024: submit 1 script for radio approximately 50 minutes in length in response to the theme ‘Humankind’, an explanation of the play’s suitability for radio, and an outline of any previous experience or interest writing for radio.
Macready Theatre 2024: submit 1 script that you have previously developed through a workshop or R&D process (any subject matter), and an outline of your past experience working with young performers.
Please email a .pdf copy of your application to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm Monday 31st July.
In the subject line of your email, please note which opportunity you are applying for: Bloomsbury Festival Theatre 2024, Bloomsbury Radio 2024, Macready Improvisation 2024. Please state if you are applying for more than one opportunity.
In the accompanying email, please submit a 50-100 word synopsis of your script/play with:
Home location/artistic base:
Any recent writing courses (not essential) – course name and institution:
Any other relevant information you would like us to be aware of.
Selected writers will be announced during Bloomsbury Festival 2023 (13th-22nd October)4
Whilst all UK entries are welcome, Bloomsbury Festival would like to encourage applications from people who are currently underrepresented in the arts, and are particularly interested in hearing from global majority, lower socio-economic background, d/Deaf and disabled, LGBTQ+ writers. We are a festival based in the London Borough of Camden, and will pay particular attention to the work of writers with connections to the local and surrounding areas.
By applying for this opportunity you guarantee that your script is entirely your own original work, and does not infringe on the copyright of any other writer or artist.
For Radio Competition 2024 applicants you also agree that, if selected, you allow the director and Bloomsbury Radio a final say in production decisions.
Bloomsbury Festival is a local festival based in Central London, and so the production opportunities we offer are focused towards writers with a connection to London as a home base or through their studies/career. We are therefore unable to offer travel or accommodation support for successful participants. No entries from applicants without a permanent address in the UK will be accepted.
Please do not submit applications for this development opportunity if you live outside the UK (unless you are a current student in London at the time of application).
Photograph: The Hippie Shakes by Frankie Regalia at Bloomsbury Festival 2022; Photo by Stuart Keegan.