Submissions open for RSC playwriting project

Published: 4 January 2023
Reporter: Steve Orme

The “most ambitious public writing project in the RSC’s history”: 37 Plays Credit: Topher McGrillis

The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced that submissions are open for its new nationwide playwriting competition 37 Plays.

Led by the RSC and a network of 12 regional theatres, 37 Plays is open to adults, young people and children including first-time and emerging writers as well as established playwrights.

Erica Whyman, the RSC’s acting artistic director, said, “as we look forward to the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio this year, we’ll celebrate this landmark moment in the company’s history with a remarkable new collection of plays that speak directly to our world today. 37 Plays represents the most ambitious public writing project in the company’s history.

“We’ll set out to encourage everyone to find their voice. I have no doubt we’ll unearth a rich kaleidoscope of stories: comedies, tragedies, untold histories, from the fantastical to the startlingly familiar. We’ll celebrate new voices for different dramatic platforms whether that's on our stages, on our streets, in schools, online or in new locations and spaces we haven't explored yet.”

Pippa Hill, the RSC’s head of new work, added, “37 Plays is a project like no other. It’s not only the first time the RSC has invited submissions of unsolicited scripts but we’re also opening the opportunity to writers of any experience and of any age.

“We’ve recruited a brilliant and diverse team of professional readers who will read all submissions and work with us to create a shortlist. These readers and the final judging panel will be looking for original stories and voices that aren’t necessarily bound by traditional playwriting forms or conventions.”

When the 37 plays have been selected they will be performed in regional theatres and will also be captured digitally.

Submissions will close at 12 noon on Saturday 31 January. Entries can be submitted at the 37 Plays web site.