Playwrights announced as part of Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland Playwright Development Programme 2019

Playwrights' Studio, Scotland are delighted to announce the 10 playwrights who have been selected to take part in the 2019 Playwright Development Programme.

This Programme consists of the Mentoring Programme (for aspiring and emerging playwrights) and New Playwrights Awards (for early career playwrights living in Scotland).

We are also delighted to announce the Partner Projects for 2019 (for mid-career and established playwrights).

Mentored Playwrights

Alice Mary Cooper is a playwright, theatre maker, actor and clown originally from Sydney, Australia.  She makes performances for all ages that are highly physical with a strong character focus. She is passionate about sustainability and creating work that has the environment at its heart.

Rehanna MacDonald Rehanna trained as an actor at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where she was also sort of forced into writing as part of an assessment. It turned out to be really fun and they funded her short play to go to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She then went on to write another short piece which she performed herself at The Other Room theatre in Cardiff.

Mhairi Quinn graduated from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh with a First-class honours degree in Drama and Theatre Arts. Mhairi's work has been performed at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh as well as the Tron Theatre, The CCA and Oran Mor in Glasgow. Mhairi makes up one third of 'The Tandem Writing Collective' and writes and produces new work in venues across Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Ellen Renton is a writer based in Edinburgh. She studied English Literature at the University of Glasgow and then a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. As part of In The Works Spoken Word Theatre Company she has co-written and performed two shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, with the most recent of which,The 900 Club, being received with critical acclaim and selected for the UK Young Artists Festival 2019 in Nottingham.

Gabriella Sloss is a Glasgow-based playwright, who recently graduated from the University of Glasgow with an MLitt in Playwriting and Dramaturgy. She is Co-Founder, Writer and Marketing Manager for theatre company Skin Deep Theatre. She has worked with improv-based rehearsals to create scripts such as The Gunning Sisters, which was performed at Sloans (Glasgow, 2016) as part of the On The Verge Festival.

Diane Stewart is a playwright from Fife. She graduated from Queen Margaret University with a BA in Drama and Performance in 2014, then from the University of York in 2016 with a MA in Theatre: Writing Directing and Performance, specialising in playwriting. In 2018 she spent some time in Sweden studying Performance Studies focusing on Gender and Feminism at Stockholm University.

The playwrights will be mentored by Oliver Emanuel, Lewis Hetherington and Morna Pearson in an eight month Programme of mentoring sessions which concludes with an individual read-through with professional actors and directors and a public sharing of extracts from all six plays.


New Playwrights Awards

Laura Miller is a playwright who has had five plays performed at Aberdeen's The Lemon Tree scratch nights. She also contributed to the script of the 2016 and 2017 Aberdeen Student Show which is performed at His Majesty's Theatre and raises money for an array of local charities.

Laurie Motherwell is a playwright born and raised in Glasgow. Credits include:Old Enough (Traverse Theatre);Playback (Stag Hart; Flying Artichoke Nominee);The Captain's Heart (Playwrights' Studio, Scotland);CyberBuddy (Hopscotch Theatre). Laurie is represented by Michael Elliot-Finch at Brennan Artists. Laurie is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh's MSc in Playwriting and is a proud member of the Scottish Society of Playwrights.

Elspeth Turner is an Edinburgh-based actor and playwright, writing in Gaelic. Originally from Dunfermline in Fife, she studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Gaelic at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. Her plays includeThe Idiot at the Wall andSpectreTown, both of which played to critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe before touring nationally. She is the recipient of Playwriting awards from the Tom McGrath Trust and the Peggy Ramsay Foundation. Elspeth's Award is supported by Comhairle nan Leabhraichean (The Gaelic Books Council).

Meghan Tyler is an award-winning writer from Newry, Northern Ireland, and one of the New Playwrights at the Lyric Theatre this year. She trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and is currently being mentored by playwright David Ireland. Recent writing credits include:Medicine(The Hope Theatre);The Persians(Oran Mor in association with the Traverse Theatre) andAwoken(Emergent Theatre Conference, Manipulate, Traverse Theatre).

Playwrights receive a package of support, over a year, which includes a £2,000 cash bursary, three mentoring sessions, a week-long retreat and a script development workshop with a professional director and actors.


Partner Projects

Jane Livingstone and Dunfermline Delivers. The project will produce a full-length, original play inspired by the heritage of Dunfermline. Playwright Jane Livingstone will develop the script with the support of Chris Foote of BID company Dunfermline Delivers.

Ellie Stewart and Eden Court. An exciting collaboration between Eden Court and Ellie Stewart to explore current issues around language, land, identity and exile in the Highlands and Islands and to write the script for a modern play with songs.

Partner Projects receive £8,000 each, plus Playwrights' Studio Scotland's expertise and staff resource, to support two projects which will allow a playwright and an organisation (or organisations) to work together on a new playwriting project. This is matched by the organisation through cash and/or in-kind support.


Other activities during 2019

Year 2 of the Scottish Borders Playwriting Programme continues, with Thomas Clark, Campbell Hutcheson, Anita JohnEmily LarnerJohn McEwen, Laura McIntyre, Robert Sproul-Cran, Sarahjane Swan and Roger Simian working towards a public event of their new work in March 2019. During 2019, we will continue to announce more of the playwrights who will be involved in our other activities such as our ongoing Professional and Public Workshop Programmes, the National Playwright Development Programme Area and others.


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