Box office: 020 7978 7040

TWP Spring 24: Write Your First Full Length Play

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Theatre503 Writers’ Programme Course: Write Your First Full Length Play, Steve Harper

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.

Wed 24th Jan 2024 – Session 1 – Ideas

Wed 31st Jan 2024 – Session 2 – Mapping Your Play

Wed 7th Feb 2024 – Session 3 – Character & Character Journeys

Wed 14th Feb 2024 – Session 4 – Scenes

Wed 21st Feb 2024 – Session 5 – Dialogue/Subtext

Wed 6th Mar 2024 – Session 6 – Setting/Space

Wed 20th Mar 2024 – Session 7 – Structure

Wed 27th Mar 2024 – 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. If you would like to book a Share The Drama bursary for the Writer’s Programme, please call our box office on 02079787040.

Our Share the Drama places for this course are currently full, if you’d like to be put on the waiting list, give us a call on 02079787040.

If you have any access requirements, you can let us know here. You can view what we currently are able to offer on our Accessibility page. If you would rather discuss any access requirements and how we can accommodate them prior to booking, please get in touch with us.

Eight Wednesday sessions starting from Wednesday 24th January, 7:00pm – 9:30pm. The sessions will take place over Zoom. Maximum class sizes are 16. A portion of spaces have been reserved for Share the Drama places. 

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.

Dates: Wednesday’s, 24th January, 31st January, 7th February, 14th February, 21st February, 6th March, 20th March, 27th March

Running time of workshop: 2.5 hours – delivered online. Maximum class sizes are 16.

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.

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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