Write the Girl
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Lady Eleanor Holles and Hampton High Schools
Following our hugely successful launch event in January we are now in Phase 2 of the project: writers are developing production proposals for the workshop stage of development. Scroll down for full details of Stage 2.
Submission deadline: Tuesday 23rd April
Please see the Submission pack for details.
The Write the Girl Project
What is it?
The Write the Girl Project is motivated by the frustration felt by teachers and students in their search for meaningful stories, suitable for large casts, that stretch, challenge and engage a generation of young women often marginalised by a male-dominated canon. Write The Girl is a partnership between schools, writers and theatre professionals, supporting playwrights as they develop the meaningful stories our young women deserve.
Why are we doing this?
As secondary schools seeking meaningful artistic experiences for our students, we are beholden on the industry to produce new work with large casts which we can then produce. Furthermore, we need plays which allow at least equal opportunities for young women, featuring narratives in which women do more than “watch and weep” while the men drive the action forward.
Given the shortage of such plays, we are using independent sector resources to kick-start the creation of a set of new works, under the project title “Write the Girl”. We hope that at least some of these projects will go on to be picked up for professional realisation. The project is designed to provide writers with a service: the workshopping of their developing ideas, and constructive feedback on their proposals. Whilst some might receive a full production in a school setting, the ultimate aim is to get these plays out into full public view, in professional theatre settings.
Phase 1: 29th January 2019:
A day of discussion about theatre-making for and with young women.
60 playwrights, practitioners and theatre makers attended a day of discussion, workshops and professional development on 29th January 2019. Inspirational sessions were run by a range of fantastic writers, culminating in a keynote address from Morgan Lloyd Malcolm. The day closed with an overview of the next steps for the project, and the presentations should be available on the site soon.
We are able to offer support to up to 20 writers as they develop original production proposals/scripts. This will take the form of:
- Practical exploration of the work-in-progress by students of Hampton High and LEH, and,
- Constructive feedback from a range of established writers, theatre professionals and teachers.
This is with a view to producing a package of proposals to be circulated, with the writers’ permission, to GSA and HMC Schools, and a range of commissioning bodies.
Of these proposals, at least one will be selected for a full commission by Hampton High and LEH Schools, for future consideration by our publishing partners at Nick Hern Books.
Features of the projects most likely to progress to a workshop include, in no particular order:
- Potential for a cast of 20 or more performers;
- A narrative, thematic content and/or an imagined world in which the action is driven by female characters, or at least equally so with male counterparts. In the absence of defined characters, or characters with defined gender, we would look for the potential to cast a company in line with the principle that female and male actors are equally capable of dynamic theatricality across the full emotional range.
- A narrative, thematic content and/or an imagined world sympathetic to diverse, non-prescriptive casting.
- A format which allows for creativity and theatricality on the part of the producing company.
- A sense of a story we have not heard before, or which deserves a distinctive retelling.
- The potential for not less than an hour’s playing time, and possibly substantially more, for which professional commissioning fees would be discussed in due course.
Details of appropriate format for submissions are included in the Submission pack which has been emailed to all participants. Projects will be considered for a practical workshop as soon as they are submitted, with the final deadline for submissions of 23rd April 2019. Workshops will take place between 29th April and 24th May, predominantly on weekday afternoons. In the event of a writer being unable to attend we can look at other options such as a video link or recording of the session.
Reviewed proposals and extracts for wider dissemination will need to be complete by Friday 14th June.
Phase 3: Full production commission
Following this series of workshops at least one project will be commissioned by Hampton High and Lady Eleanor Holles to progress as a full production in the 2019/20 academic year. The timescale for drafting and production would be agreed with the successful candidate. The commissioned writer will maintain full ownership of the intellectual property, and we would only request that the two schools are credited as sponsors of the original production.