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2020 Vision: Young Theatre Writers Scheme

The GAP is just embarking on an ambitious and exciting year of story and theatre at our home in Balsall Heath, courtesy of Arts Council England project funding. Our 2020 VISION project seeks to put the stories and experiences of the local community right at the very heart of our work and creates a wide range of high-quality creative opportunities for young writers and theatre makers to be involved.

The 2020 Young Theatre Writers Scheme will see up to six young Birmingham playwrights mentored and supported by established playwright Chris Cooper, who will work with you both as a group and individually. The scheme is a central element of the 2020 VISION project as a whole, with the twin aims of developing local young artists and generating new writing of relevance to Balsall Heath.


The programme will focus on structure and storytelling. In particular, you will explore the features and potential of the monodrama form (not to be confused with the monologue). You will learn how to develop new work using first-hand experiences and local stories as a stimulus, working from a range of source material gathered from the local community via The GAP’s 2020 VISION oral history element.

As well as also working practically on dramatic texts and attending theatre performances, the scheme also offers new playwrights the opportunity to collaborate with The GAP’s Basement Theatre Ensemble, a collective of emerging actors, designers and theatre makers, to test out your writing in practice at The GAP’s Theatre MIX scratch nights.


Each of the writers completing the scheme will be commissioned to write a short exploratory dramatic text, for which you will receive one-to-one mentoring and support from Chris Cooper. There is, in addition, potential for these pieces to be developed in production for public performance.


  • Young Birmingham-based writers, 18-30 yrs

  • An interest in developing writing for community theatre

  • Ideally with links to, knowledge of or interest in the Balsall Heath area and community.

  • Scheme starts late April and runs to December 2020

  • Involves 6-10 days commitment plus self-guided writing time

  • Commissions: £500 available for each writer completing the scheme


To apply


Please email with 2020 YOUNG THEATRE WRITERS in the subject heading, stating your age and postcode, outlining a bit about yourself and your interest in the scheme and attaching a short piece of dramatic writing (ideally) or a piece of creative writing. Deadline: applications will be accepted up until 31 March.


NB: The GAP positively welcomes applicants from all communities and backgrounds, including those with English as a second language.

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