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Scribers and New Plays in Development

Posted 04 Mar 2024


National Youth Theatre has been championing new work and young voices for over 55 years. We have commissioned hundreds of new plays relevant to young people and been the first to commission some of the country’s leading dramatists including James Graham, Zawe Ashton, Jack Thorne and Sarah Solemani.

We currently have a slate of 15 new titles under commission and development. It is important to us that we engage our young members in the development of new work and we regularly host research and development workshops, supporting writers, directors and young people to develop new productions together in our spaces.

In 2023 we created ‘The Scribers’ where NYT’s Members take part in script reading, dramaturgy and development and the earliest stages of our work. We opened applications and from an open call selected 12 members to be part of the inaugural group. The Scribers have been coming into rehearsal rooms and development weeks to give feedback since September last year.

We’ve been offering them exclusive training and Laurence Cook kicked this off with a bespoke session on ‘What is a dramaturg?’ with case studies including his work on Complicite’s ‘Drive Your Plough Over the Bones of the Dead’, which has rehearsed at NYT twice. We hope to continue to support future groups of Scribers through the programme as it offers complimentary skills to being a performer, is a growing area of employment and unlocks other roles in the creative industries.

Later this year we’re looking forward to sharing a series of new plays with audiences for the first time that have been in development for a year to 18 months. We hope that by lightly staging these new plays we can connect with partners and find a future life for them, using NYT’s resources and network to provide a springboard into the industry.

These pieces will include a new play by Debris Stevenson who adapted Much Ado About Nothing for NYT in 2022 and is working with neurodiverse NYT members to create the piece. We are partnering with Stanley Arts Centre on the initial development with support from Arts Council England.

After this year our thoughts will soon turn to NYT’s 70th Anniversary in 2026 where we will be commissioning work related to themes linked to this milestone birthday.

Watch this space for an announcement of the full season and find out more by joining our Mailing List or following up on Instagram, X and LinkedIn.