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503Studio Spring 23: Write Your First Full Length Play

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503Studio: Write Your First Full Length Play

Eight Wednesday sessions starting from Wednesday 25 January, 7 – 9.30pm. The sessions will take place over Zoom.

Theatre503 introduces its flagship writing course, to support you to write your first full length play led by Literary Manager, Steve Harper.

Our course will provide a structured exploration at pivotal stages of the process and incorporate discussion, exercises and shared experience around particular points in the process and directly in response to the work you are creating throughout.

Acknowledging that not one given process works for all writers, we will aim to explore as many alternative processes as possible. Writers will be encouraged to explore and share their own experiences of what has been useful and what has got in the way, with the course providing a space within which to reflect on these and guidance to how we might best draw on these experiences to inform our writing processes going forward.

We will provide ongoing dramaturgical support throughout the process, but with an awareness to the fact that all writers processes are bespoke. In this sense, whilst structured, we will also have the flexibility to provide different levels of dramaturgical support to individual writers at different stages of the process.

Wednesday 25 Jan 23 – Session 1 – Ideas

Wednesday 1 Feb 23 – Session 2 – Mapping Your Play


Wednesday 15 Feb 23 – Session 3 – Character & Character Journeys

Wednesday 22 Feb 23 – Session 4 – Scenes

Wednesday 1 Mar 23 – Session 5 – Dialogue/Subtext


Wednesday 15 Mar 23 – Session 6 – Setting/Space

Wednesday 22 Mar 23 – Session 7 – Structure


Wednesday 12 Apr 23 – Session 8 – Tutorials/Feedback

Please note we cannot commit to an ongoing dramaturgical relationship with any pieces that may develop on this course, or commit to a production. However we will offer an open and honest discussion with all participants about possible next steps for their work, recommendations of other development opportunities that might be of benefit, and guidance to where their work may best be suited in terms of future engagement.

Thanks to our Share The Drama scheme, we want to make sure those of you who are struggling in the current climate can still take part in our Writers Programme. While we prioritise anyone who is long term unemployed and/or claiming benefits, we’re also offering subsidies if you’re in financial difficulty as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

To express interest in a bursary place through our Share The Drama scheme, please sign up here. If you would prefer to speak directly to a member of our team about your circumstance or to ask for more information about this scheme, please contact us.

If you have any access requirements, you can let us know here. If you would rather discuss any access requirements and how we can accommodate them prior to booking, please get in touch with us here.

Maximum class sizes are 14. A portion of spaces have been reserved for Share the Drama places.

To sign up for advanced booking for future iterations of the 503Studio: Writers Programme, please join the waiting list here.

It is important to consider that this is not an introduction to playwriting but a course that will provide opportunities to refresh our basic knowledge of the craft in direct relationship to our work and the objective of writing a play over the period of the next 4 months. It is a course aimed at helping those writers trying to move from writing short plays to full length work, or those who might have written some full length work and feel it would be helpful to have a structured and ongoing dramaturgical relationship throughout the process.

Dates/Times: Wed 25th Jan (7-9.30pm); Wed 1st Feb (7-9.30pm); Wed 15th Feb (7-9.30pm); Wed 22nd Feb (7-9.30pm); Wed 1st March (7-9.30pm); Wed 15th March (7-9.30pm); Wed 22nd March (7-9.30pm); Wed 12th April (7-9.30pm).

Steve Harper heads the Literary Department of Theatre503. In the 14 years he has worked at the venue he has been responsible for identifying and supporting over 1,000 debut playwrights and helping to start their career. He co-created the 503Five initiative and Theatre503 International Playwriting Award. He has developed an outstanding reputation for matchmaking writers, directors and producers including putting together the team that delivered the Olivier Award winning Rotterdam.


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