Theatre Centre's development programme for playwrights wanting to write for young audiences.
'Skylines is a unique project, it hugely benefits writers by offering new and broader skills (essential in this climate) and it develops our expertise as a support organisation. There is a real demand for the talent development of playwrights who write for young people and create work for young audiences.'
Chris Taylor, Artistic Director - New Writing South
'Really really enjoyed this programme. I had not realised how much fun it would be to consider writing for a specific age group. Liberating and inspiring!'
Skylines Writer - University of East Anglia
At Theatre Centre we understand the importance of nurturing new talent for the Young People's Theatre sector, so Skylines is here to help develop future generations of playwrights to keep the industry exciting, diverse and relevant.
In 2012 and 2013 47 writers from accross the country enjoyed workshops delivered by Laurence Wilson, Rachel Barnet and Oladipo Agboluaje on writing for young people aged 4 to 18 years old. Each facilitator shared knowledge of writing for specific age groups, and each Skylines playwright had the chance to develop a short piece to be performed by professional actors at sharing events.
The sharings were a space for young people to give direct feedback to the writers on the play extracts. Each sharing was aimed at a particular age group: 4+, 8+ or 13+, and the writers produced age appropriate pieces. Some of the writers had never had their work critiqued in this way before, so it was a testiment to their bravery to lay their work open like this.
Dispite initial apprehension, the playwrights found it a very useful exercise and the young people at each venue were very articulate in their likes and dislikes in a constructive fashion.
We've had an overwhelmingly positive response from the playwrights that took part in the initiative and we look forward to continue working with them and seeing their plays develop.
Thank you to all who have taken part so far and to our regional partners:
- Everyman Theatre (Cheltenham)
- Hampstead Theatre (London)
- New Writing South (Brighton)
- The Royal Exchange (Manchester)
- University of East Anglia (Norwich)
Have a look at the images from workshops and the sharing events above.
The community of writers will continue to develop their skills and interest via the online forum. There are opportunities to debate issues with one another and access useful resources to aid work.
Skylines Showcase 2013
As part of our Write Lines conference on new writing for young audiences, three short plays by Sklyines writers were showcased to delegates. Write Lines marked the culmination of the pilot stage of the Skylines programme. The plays were performed by professional actors and went through a period of development before being performed.
These scripts are now publically available:
When selecting the scripts to be showcased our judges also commended two other writers, and these are also available to download (having been made available to all Write Lines delegates in their delegate packs):
Congratulations to all involved! Pictures from the event can be found on the conference page and also on Theatre Centre's Flickr page. To keep up to date with all of Theatre Centre's opportunities for writers do sign up to our mailing list.
As the pilot of the Skylines programme draws to a close the time has come to gather feedback from writers who took part. This will enable us to improve and develop our own practice, but also forms an essential part of our Paul Hamlyn Foundation funding, which paid for the project. The survey will also help to inform what Skylines will become in the future, which we'll keep you updated about. We hope those writers that took part gained a lot from the project. Do keep in touch.
Skylines is funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.