Norwich Theater launches 37 Plays scriptwriting classes

Published:
June 25, 2022 1:30 PM



If all the world’s a stage, there must be countless unheard stories waiting to be told.

A new series of workshops from Norwich Theater will seek to reveal those narratives for the first time.

In collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company, a scriptwriting project titled 37 Plays will celebrate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s First Folio by inviting the public to pen a modern masterpiece and submit it to a nationwide competition.

“We want to create a new folio of scripts that tell the stories of our time,” says Elspeth Hunter, creative engagement project manager. “The First Folio is really important because without it Macbeth, for example, might never have come to our attention. It would have become an untold story.”

Submissions are open from January 1, 2023 until January 31, 2023. The winning 37 scripts will be chosen by next April and then performed to the public across the UK and online throughout autumn that year.

Norwich Theater will support those looking to develop their own plays with a series of scriptwriting programmes, including sessions specifically for young carers. Working with The Benjamin Foundation, the theater will host a taster session for young carers on August 6.

“We want to show young people that scriptwriting isn’t just about being sat at a table in a classroom with a pen and paper,” says Elspeth. “This session is about bringing the characters to life with games and movement, while allowing these young carers to have fun and be creative.”

Workshops are free to attend – and taxis, food and drink will also be provided by Norwich Theatre.

Alice Stevenson, young carers development manager at The Benjamin Foundation, says: “Young carers often don’t get to engage in community activities like their peers. Partnering with Norwich Theater gives us the ability to offer young carers an insight into creative work opportunities to help inspire their futures.”




Elspeth Hunter, creative engagement project manager at Norwich Theater
– Credit: Alex Rimell

Norwich Theater is also developing a program for those with visual impairments in collaboration with Vision Norfolk, which will look to embed audio description within the script itself to maximize accessibility. A masterclass on access and theatre-making with actor, writer and director Ben Wilson will take place on June 27.

“The point of 37 Plays is to tell stories of our nation,” says Elspeth. “Young carers and people with visual impairments are an important part of that, so we want to give them a platform.”

A further public program called the Scriptwriters Series will feature workshops hosted at Norwich Playhouse from writers like Molly Naylor and James McDermott.

“Everyone should get involved with 37 Plays because it’s our chance to shake up the canon by showing stories that matter from real people,” Elspeth says. “It’s about modernizing and democratizing theatre.”

For more information, please visit www.norwichtheatre.org

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