Production Proposals

Thank you for your interest in Theatre503 as a potential venue for your production. This page is designed to give you all the information you may need when considering Theatre503 for your play.

Artistic Policy

Theatre503 is the home for new writers and a launchpad for the artists who bring their words to life. We programme new plays by debut and emerging writers. We are looking for stories in close conversation with our time, from voices we haven’t heard before. We generally programme productions for four weeks and one or two nights. We also have one-two week slots available at certain times in the year.

Theatre503 aims to produce three in-house productions a year, two have usually come from either the Theatre503 International Playwriting Award or our 503Five Writers’ Residency. The third is our Christmas show. Our current funding situation doesn’t often allow for co-productions for the rest of the year, but we are working towards addressing that in the near future. However we work very closely with companies who produce a show at Theatre503 and provide as much support as we can to help realise their production, in partcular for 4 week productions.

Finances

Theatre503 operates on a curated hire basis; we programme all the work into the theatre, and ask for both hire and a box office split. The venue fee consists of two parts:
– A flat hire fee of £1,500 per week.
– 30% of box office takings.

For shorter runs of one/two nights we have a hire rate of £140/£250 and 30% of box office takings.

For runs of four weeks we also charge a marketing contra of £500.

There is a deposit of either £500 (for four week runs) or £100 (for shorter runs). Beyond the deposit, all remaining rental comes from box office settlement at the end of your run.

There is also a cost of sale charge, which accounts for the fees our ticketing system charges to process transactions (usually around 5%)

Theatre503 is not VAT registered

Information Pack

Further information relating to our programming, the financials, marketing and other aspects of Theatre503 can be found in this document. Please do download, have a read, as well as the FAQs below.

Submit A Proposal

If after reviewing all the information, you feel that we are a suitable venue for your play, please fill out this form.

You’ll need to provide:

  • A copy of the script
  • CVs or biographies of the proposed creative team
  • A marketing plan (for 4 week productions)
  • Any other material that may help us assess your work, for example a couple of reviews of previous shows.
  • The length of run you are looking for, and the time-frame for this.

If you have any questions, please email programming@theatre503.com or call 020 7978 7040.

Call Outs for Proposals

We have the following call outs currently live for production proposals:

LBTQ+ Plays

Tue 21 – Sat 25 May

We’re seeking plays that identify as LBTQ+ themed for a week slot (Tue-Sat) with us. This slot may be double bills, a single show, or various one/two night shows dotted throughout this period.

We’re particularly interested in LBTQ+ themed plays to sit alongside a play exploring gay male themes that we have currently programmed.

These slots will be offered on our standard hires/box office arrangement (see finance section on this page).

50:50 Split Week

24 – Sat 29 June

We’re seeking plays to programme on a 50:50 box office split in double bills for the week Mon 24 – Sat 29 June. Plays submitting for this week will need to meet our artistic policy, and be able to play alongside another show in a double bill (ticketed separately). Ideally these plays will run Tue-Sat with shared box office risk with Theatre503.

Motherhood Plays

2 – 6 July

Calling all playwrights who identify as female and as a mother. We’re keen to programme a week of play(s) by the most brilliant mother playwrights. The play submitted for this week does not need to be on the theme of motherhood, but you would need to be comfortable being championed as a female identify mother who is a playwright.
We’re particularly interested in reading plays by mothers of colour, from a working-class background or those self-identify as disabled.

This slot(s) is offered on our standard hires/box office arrangement (see financial section on this page).

One Week

Tue 9 – Sat 13 July

We’re seeking a play to programme for this week in line with our artistic policy. This week is offered on standard hires/box office arrangement (see finance section on this page) with no theme required.

If you’d like to discuss any of the above slots, please don’t hesitate to contact us on programming@theatre503.com or to give Theatre503’s Producer, Jake Orr, a call on 020 7978 7040.

 

Submit A Proposal for the Call Out

If you feel like you have a play that will be suitable to one of our specific call outs, please use this form to fill out a proposalPlease note: Theatre503 will not be producing these shows. You must have a production team already in place.

Proposals must be submitted to us by 3pm Friday 29 March. Plays submitted for our LBTQ+ week will be read ahead of proposals for other slots.

FAQs

How far in advance do you programme?

For our four-week productions we aim to programme 9-12 months in advance. For one/two night shows we programme 3-4 months in advance.

Do you programme one-person plays?

We welcome every type of script, but are less likely to programme one-person plays for a long run. This is purely down the practicalities of marketing the play and the challenges similar shows have faced. It is more likely we will offer a one -two night slot, but are open to longer runs if the case can be made for them.

Do you only programme new writing?

Yes. We are a new writing theatre, and only programme work by debut and emerging writers. Please see our Submissions and Programming Policy for clarity.

Will you co-produce my play?

Its rare for us to be able to co-produce plays due to resources at the present moment. As we produce three in-house shows a year, the majority of our fundraising and staffing goes towards producing these, and supporting incoming companies.

How do you select the plays you produce in-house?

Generally 503 produces plays that have come our of Playwriting Award and commissioned via the 503Five. While our unsolicited script submission process means we read every script we are sent, with at least 10 scripts that have come out of those two projects every two year, there is currently less opportunity for other scripts to be produced by 5o3. However, we are also led by the script and if it’s a play we love we will do everything we can to get it on the stage, often by partnering with a producer/director. The two Olivier Award winning plays that were programmed at 503, came about via this process.

I don’t have a producer, should I still submit my proposal?

Yes, but please do flag that you’re looking to work with a producer. We often match-make for companies who are seeking producers, but as always, there are too few freelance producers available. We are also creating a series of workshops throughout the year, whereby we can help support writers and other creatives to develop their own skillset to hold some of that producing responsibility. Both the Artistic & Executive Directors of 503 started their careers this way, so we are keen to ensure more emerging artists are able to have more input into the realisation of their first play.

Should I also submit my script to the literary department?

We won’t consider a play that has been submitted to the literary department. The focus of the literary team is to support the development of writers and their scripts and to feedback on a scripts potential in relation to programming. It will take up to 6 months to get feedback on a script sent to them, as we recieve over 1,000 unsolicited scripts a year as well as over 400 503Five applications and 2,000 scripts for our Award every two years.

How long will it take to hear back from you?

We receive and read a lot of plays each week. We hope to get back to all production proposals within one month of being submitted.

Can I talk to someone about my proposal before I submit?

Of course, feel free to give our Producer, Jake Orr, a call on 020 7978 7040.

Do you have set ticket prices, and can I offer discounts?

We have a set pricing structure for our shows, which incorporates local and discounted tickets. We cannot offer further discounts or pricing structures than the ones listed in the programming document. Our ticket pricing has been calculated based on data from previous performances of shows in the last few years.

Is any technical support included?

Yes, these are listed in the information pack.

Will I need to budget for an operator?

Yes. However we can also open up a conversation with our Technical Manager for recommendations for someone to support your show from our freelance technicians.

How much marketing support do you offer?

For four-week productions the £500 marketing contra covers a range of marketing activities including; strategic planning, flyering in the local area, inclusion on our website, newsletters and brochure. For shorter runs, we offer limited marketing support.

Can I hire the theatre outright?

Yes, this is considered on a case-by-case basis. Please call us to discuss further.

Is the theatre available during the day?

Yes, we do upon occasion have the opportunity for companies to use Theatre503 for rehearsals, auditions or other work. Please call to discuss availability.