Playwrights' Gathering: beyond COVID-19

On Friday 13 June 2020, along with the Scottish Society of Playwrights, we hosted a Playwrights' Gathering for playwrights working in Scotland. 

The aim of the Gathering was to look at some of the most important questions facing Scottish Theatre at this time. For example, when we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, what could the future of live theatre and playwriting in Scotland look like? What role can playwrights - and the organisations established to promote, support and represent their interests - play in shaping this new world? 

At the Gathering, contributions from playwrights Peter ArnottAnnie George, and Jules Horne & Bill Armstrong from the Writers Guild of Great Britain, Playwrights' Studio, Scotland and the Scottish Society of Playwrights (SSP) were presented.

Presentations from the Playwrights Gathering:

We also discussed the action already being taken on behalf of the wider arts and theatre sector by Culture Counts, and the  Federation of Scottish Theatre, and, most importantly, how to make your voice as a playwright heard and influence decision-makers, individually and as part of a collective response.  

The event sold out, with 81 playwrights attending on the day, from across Scotland and at every career stage. If you were unable to attend and would like to know what was discussed in detail, please see the transcript of the event.

Immediately after the event, we sought views from Scotland's playwrights, whether they attended the Gathering or not. This was to help us formulate a submission to the Scottish Parliament's Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee inquiry on the impact of COVID-19 on Scotland's Culture and Tourism Sectors - and to inform our advocacy with other organisations.

We received an incredible 75 responses to the survey, from Stranraer to Shetland. They were generous, articulate, knowledgeable and nuanced responses to the place of theatre and playwriting at this time of crisis. The keys points were summarised in the joint submission to the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee by Playwrights' Studio and the SSP.

Further updates will be posted via our blog.

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