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As part of the Theatre503 Writers’ Programme, we are now offering a year round 1-2-1 dramaturgy session to give detailed feedback on your full length script and its potential development.


1-2-1  Dramaturgy Testimonials

‘Even though I was an experienced TV writer (for BBC and ITV drama series) theatre was completely new to me. I had two Theatre503 121 dramaturgy sessions which really opened my eyes to the unique skills and challenges of writing for theatre. It was an invaluable experience which I strongly recommend to anyone on their theatre writing journey.’

‘It was very interesting to experience how a dramaturg would react to my manuscript. When submitting a play to a theatre, especially if it’s through an open submission window or for a festival, you never know who’s going to read the play and how that person is going to approach reading your work. If you’ve never had the chance to work with a dramaturg before, I think the 121 dramaturgy session is very helpful in broadening your horizons as a writer. It gave me the opportunity to see my play through the eyes of an experienced dramaturg, which in turn gave me a deeper and very interesting insight into how the literary department of a renowned theatre works.’

‘My 121 dramaturgy session at Theatre503 was a great help. It can feel extravagant to pay for professional services when you’re still starting out as a writer, but receiving that expert support really helped me, in terms of the actual writing and rewriting of the script, but also the confidence and motivation it gave me to finish the project.’

‘My experience as a playwright is that after working for a certain amount of time on my script, I become “play-blind” so to speak, and therefore stuck. So, to be able to receive a high standard professional input like the one provided by 121 dramaturgy is priceless. Working with the dramaturg has been a great experience. They were available, insightful and helped me answer key questions to move forward with my work. I will definitely re-apply to 121 dramaturgy in future.’

‘I’ve used Theatre503’s 121 dramaturgy service twice, and both times I have found it extremely helpful. The objective insight from the dramaturgs helped me identify where those particular plays could be improved, as well as helping with my craft in general. The conversations I had with the dramaturgs were enlightening, inspiring and encouraging, and it was clear that they had given deep thought to the plays that I had submitted.’

‘My dramaturgy session was tremendously helpful in gaining perspective on my piece and gauging what was and wasn’t working emotionally.  The opportunity to discuss my play with an experienced director with whom I had no prior relationship (and had no reason to “pull punches”) was a great sanity check and provided a number of valuable ideas.’

‘503’s dramaturgy service was very valuable. The dramaturg was professional, encouraging, insightful. I feel they were fully engaged in reviewing my play, picking up on thematic details and making intelligent recommendations to strengthen them. An excellent value service, I highly recommend and will use again the future.’

‘The whole experience was amazing. The dramaturg was so relaxed and personal in their approach and I felt they really understood my work. They gave detailed feedback honing in areas of improvement to where I could dig a bit deeper into characters, moments in the play that were really impactful, and how to make the most of them in my storytelling. I used their feedback in my next draft and produced a piece of theatre which received ACE funding and great reviews at the Camden Fringe.’

‘I found the feedback, insight and constructive criticism I received from my dramaturg on the draft of the play that I submitted to Theatre503 to be invaluable. Like many writers I found that some unnecessary characters, backstory and extraneous stuff had found their way into my script as it had gone through various redrafting stages…and didn’t add anything to the overall action or plot. Meeting with the dramaturg via Zoom helped me think again about whether these were essential and provided me with the clarity on how to change my script. As a result the nature of my writing was greatly enhanced by reviewing it following this feedback. Subsequently, my play was scheduled to receive its premiere in October 2023. I couldn’t have done this without Theatre503’s help!’ 

‘I found my dramaturgy session to be very helpful. The dramaturg had clearly read my script closely, and prepared feedback which was insightful and stimulating. They presented it in a way that generated what for me was a very interesting and instructive conversation, in which I felt I was learning a lot from their extensive and multi-sided experience of theatre. At the end I was confident that I’d had some substantial input that was objective while also being attuned to what I was trying to do in the play. They alerted me to some general issues to think about in writing plays, and offered some suggestions on how to make changes to particular aspects of the script they had read. In all, a valuable experience.’


Why are you charging for this service?

It mainly covers the costs of our part time freelance team to be able to spend 3 hours reading your script, and up to 2 hours giving you feedback. There is also the cost of administering the 1-2-1 Dramaturgy service all year round. Anyone who cannot cover these costs, please do get in touch to discuss our Share the Drama scheme.

How is this different from your unsolicited script reading process?

The 1-2-1 dramaturgy session is a conversation, not a one-way street of notes – where your input is equally valuable. That way we can gain a better understanding of your intentions and motives, and you can respond to notes – to question and clarify in the moment. We need to hear and involve you, as script development needs to be collaboration to achieve the best results. 

Our unsolicited script reading system means anyone can submit a script and have it read for free. However, as we receive more than 2,000 scripts and programming proposals a year, it can take up to 6 months to get a response and we are unable to give detailed feedback on those scripts.

If I book a place, does this mean you’ll view my script more favourably?

It’s very important to us that any decision around taking a script forward to consideration for a programming/full production is separate from any of our paid services as part of the Online Writers’ Programme. We may recommend and/or signpost next steps but we cannot offer anything else.


24 Jun — 25 Jun
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Theatre503 Writers’ Programme...

26 Jun
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