Where are we at?

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As the team at Playwrights' Studio, we wanted to give you a very quick update on what we have been doing since the lockdown began in March. We've been working very closely with our board and have produced an emergency plan and budget as obviously we have lost earnings and income as a result of COVID-19 and have increased costs due to cancellations. They have been very supportive of the team during this time. 

In April, we launched our Bursaries and Projects programme as well as online sessions for playwrights to specifically support them during the COVID-19 crisis. We are still running our core Playwriting Programme (Mentoring, New Playwrights Awards, Professional Programme and Script Reading Services). We are currently working on how we can move the existing programme online.

We held our first digital public event earlier this month. Spaces for A Playwrights' Gathering sold out within days, with over 100 playwrights registering to attend. There was excellent representation from playwrights at every career stage across Scotland. Thank you once again to everyone who made the Gathering possible. Click through for full details of all involved. If you attended and wish to see the transcript from the event, simply email info@playwrightsstudio.co.uk.

In June, we were delighted to host an online Question and Answer session on Creative Scotland's new Open Fund: Sustaining Creative Development. Vanessa Boyd from Creative Scotland joined 25 playwrights to answer their questions regarding the Fund.

As announced in this month's Enews, we have launched a digital meeting room for playwrights. The Space Online is a private digital meeting room where you can meet with other professionals, develop your script, or even rehearse with your cast.

We have also introduced a faster turnaround on scripts submitted to the National Script Reading Service. From submission to feedback, you can expect to wait no longer than four weeks, rather than eight weeks. This applies to all scripts submitted until 31 August 2020, when we'll review how it's all going. Remember - the guidelines for the National Script Reading Service have also changed. There is no limit on the number of scripts you can submit this year.

In late summer, the Playwriting Programme for 2020/21 will be launched, and we are looking at how this might inspire some imaginative thinking about the possibilities for theatre once we emerge from this crisis. So rather than waiting, we want to support playwrights to get ahead of the game and help them provide creative solutions to the theatres and companies as they return to commissioning and producing work.

Part of this will be working with the playwrights on our board but we also want to have a more 'creative' Gathering with playwrights to talk about some of this. So, we'll be in touch about that soon.

Our wider advocacy work includes being part of discussions with the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Creative Scotland and staff have been feeding into research with them, Literature Alliance Scotland, the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) and our other main funder, Glasgow City Council

All of us are working hard behind the scenes keeping our eyes peeled for any opportunities that may be of benefit to playwrights and promoting these as soon as possible through our e-news and social media channels.

The last but most important piece of information is that the team are always here and are available to chat or just listen. We can arrange phone calls, Zoom meetings or conversations by email. Whatever works best for you just now. So please do keep in touch! 

Very best wishes

Amy, Emma, Fiona and Hayley x

Written by Playwrights' Studio at 00:00

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