Please note: we are not currently accepting unsolicited script or programming submissions whilst we are recruiting for the 503Five Writers Residency. We will resume accepting submissions on 7-8 October 2023 and will continue to do so on the first weekend of every subsequent month.
Message from Lisa Spirling, 503 Artistic Director:
‘At Theatre503, we support the work and development of debut and emerging writers along with the artists who bring their words to life. There is no ideal ‘503 play’… We want to discover stories in close conversation with our times, from voices we haven’t heard before, that makes us see the world anew. Don’t be limited by the scale of your ambition – we once landed the first person on Mars and she “floated up to the ceiling and was held like a balloon”. Just tell the story you’ve been burning to see on the stage. We want to surprise, invigorate and entertain our audience, we celebrate bold theatricality, emotional connection and plays that provoke the mind.’
Theatre503 is dedicated to writers who …
*If you are an international writer, with a script you would like 503 to consider, you are welcome to contact the Literary department at email@example.com In most cases, we will encourage you to enter your script for Theatre503 International Playwriting Award, however some scripts may be read on an ad hoc basis if time/resources allow
**If you have a short script you would like us to consider, please contact the Literary department. These scripts may be read at our discretion but, more often than not, you will be signposted towards Rapid Write Response, our short play initiative.
In all of the above categories, we are only interested in reading unproduced scripts from any debut and emerging writers who meet the detailed criteria.
On submission via the online portal, you will receive an automatic email receipt.
After an initial assessment, all plays we decide to take forward will be read by at least two Theatre503 readers. These scripts will then be discussed at our readers’ meetings, and those with potential for production, or writers we would like to develop a relationship with, will be identified. Those scripts will then be considered further.
We aim to get back to you with an outcome on your script within 3-6 months, but during busy times – such as the Theatre503 International Playwriting Award reading period – this may take much longer.
We regret that we are unable to offer feedback as standard on all plays. However, we aim to communicate the outcome of the process concerning all submissions to writers, and some feedback, or ongoing communication may be embarked upon at the theatre’s discretion.
Please note: we only accept one script at a time. If we have decided not to take your script forward, please understand that we are unlikely to read another draft, unless specific feedback has been given to that end.
We are very keen to encourage first time translators, but we are aware that a degree of experience may also help the realisation of the original writers script, so we are open to a wider pool of translation experience, as long as the original playwright fits the above criteria.
Given the time and resource going into supporting our writers to bring their words to life on our stage, we also factor into consideration the impact having a show on will have on the writer, so we can ensure those who will benefit most from the opportunity are given priority.
The same criteria as above applies to programming proposals at Theatre503, in particular our three week productions. It is not uncommon for some scripts to have had a rehearsed reading/scratch night/work in progress performance, but these are less likely to be considered for production if they have had a short run already – unless a directly solicited transfer and/or part of a tour.
You should only submit your script for programming if you have a director and producer attached to the project.
If you are a writer looking for a director and/or producer, please submit the script via Unsolicited.
When submitting your script, please use the free text box on the form to fill in details of your creative team, the length of run you are specifically looking for, and roughly, when you would be interested in making that production happen.
Please avoid submitting your play to both script submissions and programming at the same time. Equally if a play has been passed on as an Unsolicited Script we are unlikely to be able to consider it for Programming.
Rapid Write Response only happens when we have a show that runs for three weeks.
The submission option will only open between the 9am Wed – 9am Mon of the preview week of a show. Any full-length plays submitted using this drop down choice are deleted.
More information about specific Rapid Write Response events can be found on the specific RWR webpage.
The International Playwriting Award will be open for submissions again in 2024.
More information can be found on the specific award page or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are more than happy to read submissions and proposals sent by agents on behalf of their clients, and will respond to emails in regard to this, however it is really helpful for us if the play can be submitted through the portal using the unsolicited drop down choice.