Archive for August 20th, 2009

The Twelve

20th August 2009 by Maura McHugh

The Royal Exchange is looking for submissions for The Twelve, its Young Playwrights Course (YPC), which is a free four week course aiming to identify and develop writers of potential between the ages of 18 and 30.

Meeting on Saturdays 17 and 24 October (10am – 5pm) and 31 October and 7 November (10am – 1pm), twelve writers will be taught the craft of writing – from the principles of story and plot through to the structuring of scenes, the development of theme and the generation of ideas. By the end of the course, the writers will have generated an idea for a play and developed this into a storyline. They will then have a further six weeks to write that play. The course will be led by Jo Combes, Associate Director at the Royal Exchange, and award-winning dramatist Nick Leather.

In January 2010 the young playwrights will be given one-to-one tutorials on their plays, and advice on the future. All of the writers who complete an original play on deadline, and to an acceptable standard, will pass the course. The graduates of the YPC will continue to have a relationship with the theatre and have access to the Literary Department.

In addition to their tuition, they will receive two scripts to read before the start of the course and must write a short review on each. Each week they will receive a further script to read and review for the following week. They will also be eligible for discounted tickets to selected productions at the theatre throughout the course.

During the course, the young writers will have access to an online message board, allowing them to share and discuss their ideas and stories together. Following the course, all graduates will have access to a further message board which will allow them to stay in touch and provide mutual support via an online community.

This intensive course will aim to be prestigious, both for the theatre and the graduates, and be built around creating the best environment for promising young writers to fulfil their potential. Over time, the YPC should generate an exciting group of playwrights, who would carry the good name of the theatre on all their future achievements.

The deadline for entries is the 4th September 2009, and information on how to apply is available from the web site.

The Sitcom Trials

20th August 2009 by Maura McHugh

The Sitcom Trials is a UK comedy show where brand-new sitcoms compete, and the members of the audience vote for their favourite.

The aim of the Sitcom Trials is to find new situation comedy ideas and scripts, and also to discover professional quality comedy writing and performing talents. We do this through a show which also has to be consistently entertaining. To ensure that the show remains entertaining for the audience, we use a previously established format which keeps the audience directly involved in the outcome of the show, and rewards their participation.

Script Format: 10 minute script with “cliffhanger” and payoff
So, every sitcom script has to be no more than 10 minutes long, culminating in a “cliffhanger” or ad-break moment, leaving the audience wondering what will happen next. The script must then include a 2-3 minute “payoff” ending scene, which will be performed only if that script wins the audience vote.

Submissions are open for the Autumn 09 season, celebrating its 10th anniversary as a contest to find the best new sitcom scripts and comedy writers and showcase their work in front of a live audience and a panel of leading industry figures.

Scripts will be accepted until Midnight on Sunday 6th September

The live shows will take place from mid October in a knockout format in front of an invited panel of industry judges each week..

Last year’s grand final saw heads of comedy and entertainment from BBC television and radio, Channel 4, and ITV deciding a winner, and the hunt is now on for new scripts to compete in the new series of live shows throughout October and November.