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.
Please click here for our current production callouts
Artistic and Programming 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.
We are interested in submissions for a production whose writer is yet to have a full-length play of more than 65 minutes produced professionally for 4 weeks or more in any theatre. Ultimately our decision making comes down to the quality of the script and the story it is telling. We also take into consideration how much having a show on at 503 will benefit the writer.
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 particular for 4 week productions.
Throughout the year we look to provide a platform and create as many opportunities as possible for the widest spectrum of voices. While we are in regular contact with many emerging writers and the artists who bring their words to life, we are aware that not all voices are being heard. In response to ongoing conversations with these artists and our audiences, we often explore themed programming. In this instance we specifically seek writers and artists who represent those experiences to get in touch with a production proposal. Please go to our Production Callouts page for find out more about those specific opportunities or read on if you would like your production to be considered as part of the venue’s ongoing programming.
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/three nights we have a hire rate of £140/£250/£350 and 30% of box office takings.
For runs of 4/2/1 weeks we also charge a marketing contra of £500/£250/£125
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7978 7040.
We are always excited to hear from individuals and companies that have productions, readings or work in progress that you would like to invite us to. If you are looking for a future life, development or want to form relationships with Theatre503 fill out this form and we will send this to our Theatre503 Scouts.
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?
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, Gabrielle Leadbeater 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.