Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Guest Blog: Producer Steven Atkinson On The Originals Playwriting Award And The Importance Of Supporting New Writers

Why more opportunities are so vital for new writing

Guest Blog: Producer Steven Atkinson On The Originals Playwriting Award And The Importance Of Supporting New Writers

Since the pandemic, we know that it has been difficult for the industry, and those in it, to bounce back. The Originals Playwriting Award focuses on rebuilding that support for new writing specifically. Producing new plays has never been more expensive and more difficult. And this matters, of course, because if new talent doesn't have a platform to present itself then the same old faces get all the opportunities.

Originals is our attempt to kickstart new writing with a different production model. Our idea was to say if we stage these plays over two days like you do a radio play; whereby day one is rehearsal and day two is broadcast, then this could be a brilliant way to share stories and talent that might otherwise not be seen. And like radio plays, the short contract for actors might mean that we could welcome some brilliant talent back to the stage. These recordings will last for audiences who are interested in watching and for the writers to also share with producers and agents in their journey to get future work.

I am delighted to say that so far, the proof of concept has worked. In our wildest dreams we could not have hoped to attract the actors that we have. Their involvement, of course, is testament to the originality and quality of the three plays that were chosen through a nationwide playwriting hunt by our generous panel of judges, who donated their time to the award. What we are presenting on stage is a huge collective effort of a range of very established talents across our industry, coming together because they want to support three brilliant new plays.

Guest Blog: Producer Steven Atkinson On The Originals Playwriting Award And The Importance Of Supporting New Writers
The award-winning plays

The pleasure for us at Original Theatre is the opportunity to apply all that we have learnt through the pandemic about high-quality filmmaking, streaming and on-demand performances of live events, to innovate opportunities for new writing and ensure that it can be seen by the widest possible audience. Our filmmaking collaborators at North South are at the top of their game in live broadcast filmmaking and, in collaboration with our designers and directors, we are making something unique and special, which we can only hope is the first of more such endeavours to support new writing in this manner.

For audiences, there is the choice of joining us live at Riverside Studios to see behind-the-scenes, to watch the live stream, or to watch these plays on demand later. Each will provide its own viewing pleasure and I hope that each format gives audiences the opportunity to see something different in watching each play over again.

The winners of the recent nationwide search for scripts can be seen at Riverside Studios from 30 June - 2 July




From This Author - Guest Blog: Steven Atkinson


Guest Blog: Producer Steven Atkinson On The Originals Playwriting Award And The Importance Of Supporting New Writers
June 28, 2022

Since the pandemic, we know that it has been difficult for the industry, and those in it, to bounce back. The Originals Playwriting Award focuses on rebuilding that support for new writing specifically. Producing new plays has never been more expensive and more difficult. And this matters, of course, because if new talent doesn’t have a platform to present itself then the same old faces get all the opportunities.