The Bush Theatre is internationally famed for developing the very best of the UK’s leading writers, often through cold submissions or its talent development programmes, which open routes into the theatre to people who didn’t previously have access. This year the theatre has been celebrating 50 years of supporting new writers and has most recently helped launch the careers of Tyrell Williams (Red Pitch), Beru Tessema (House of Ife), Waleed Akhtar (The P Word) and Ambreen Razia (Favour).
During the window, the theatre will welcome submissions of full-length plays (running at 60 mins or more) from writers based in the UK or Ireland who are not currently represented by an agent. This year at least two writers will be selected for the Bush Theatre’s Emerging Writers’ Group; the theatre’s literary team will meet with 30 writers and 100 more will receive feedback via email.
Deirdre O’Halloran, Literary Manager of the Bush Theatre said, ‘Open Submissions and the Emerging Writers’ Group have become our most exciting and effective ways to meet and develop new talent, as our most recent season has shown. Five of our plays this year were written by Emerging Writers’ Group alumni, including two of whom we met through Open Submissions. This year from 1000 submissions, we found five of our newest cohort of Emerging Writers’ Group members and we are so excited to start working with them!’
Full details of how to submit your play can be seen at https://www.bushtheatre.co.uk/artists/get-involved/submissions/
Watch Bush Theatre Artistic Director, Lynette Linton and Associate Artistic Director Daniel Bailey talk about script submissions here
EMERGING WRITERS’ GROUP
The Bush Theatre announces the eighth year of its Emerging Writers Group with a new intake of writers. The 2022 cohort will be Zak Ismail, Temi Majekodunmi, Jasmin Mandi-Ghomi, Ted Marriott, Valerie Sadoh and Coral Wylie who follow in the footsteps of writers produced at the Bush including Nikhil Parmar, Kwame Owusu, Ambreen Razia, Beru Tessema and Will Jackson.
Zak Ismail is a writer based in West London and was first inspired to write for the theatre after seeing Angels in America in 2017. He was shortlisted for the Alpine Fellowship in 2021. He is most interested in writing about complex family dynamics and dual identities.
Temi Majekodunmi is a trained actor from East15 Acting School. His debut play The Life of Olu ran at Soho Theatre as part of the Soho Rising Festival in 2022. Most recently his second full-length play Thicker Than Water was long-listed for the Alfred Fagon: Mustapha Matura Award.
Jasmin is a British-Iranian playwright from West Yorkshire. Her first full-length play Allah In the Walls was developed on the Catalyst Programme at the North Wall Arts Centre and went on to be shortlisted for the 2022 Bruntwood Prize. Her most recent play was The Magic of Wild Heather, written for the National Theatre’s Public Acts and performed at Cast Theatre in 2021.
Ted Marriott is a writer and performer from Suffolk based in West London. He is an alumnus of the University of Nottingham, National Youth Theatre, and Old Vic Theatre Makers program and received a year’s mentorship in scriptwriting from Arts Emergency.
Valerie Isaiah Sadoh is a playwright whose debut play Pussy Liberty won the Bread and Roses company award in 2017, to combat imposter syndrome she went on to graduate from the University of the Arts London with a MA in Dramatic Writing. Much of her work explores identity, race, love and all the little things in between. Valerie is currently a playwright mentor for 16-21s at National Theatre.
Coral Wylie is a writer, performer & wildlife educator from West London. With a background in Zoology, their work focuses on how science & art intersect, bringing nature (and a whole lot of bugs) into the world of theatre. They are a member of The Bush Theatre Young Company, & their first full-length script, ENTOMOLOGY, was longlisted for The Tony Craze Award 2022.
The EWG is an opportunity for the Bush to develop relationships with new playwrights encountered through unsolicited submissions process and further afield – all of whom are at early stages in their careers. It aims to support writers over a sustained period and help encourage work on a new full-length play.
A previous member of the EWG, Benedict Lombe, whose award-winning play Lava was produced at the Bush last year said, ‘The Bush is my theatre family. I submitted a script during their open calls for script submissions, and they invited me to join their Emerging Writers Group. This was an investment, in every sense of the word. From giving me the space to experiment and develop my craft – straight through to programming the world premiere of my debut play on their main stage. If you think it’s just another scheme, think again. And then send in your play – they really are rooting for you.’