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Playwrights announced as part of Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland Playwright Development Programme 2020

Playwrights' Studio, Scotland are delighted to announce the 15 playwrights who have been selected so far to take part in the 2020 Playwriting Programme.

This Programme consists of the Mentoring Programme (for aspiring and emerging playwrights), New Playwrights Awards (for early career playwrights living in Scotland), Gaelic Playwriting Award (for early career to established professional writing in Gaelic), and the Professional Workshop Programme (for mid-career and established playwrights). The Professional Workshop Programme remains open until 31 March 2020 so keep an eye out for further announcements in the coming months.

Mentored Playwrights

Jessica Brodie has a BA in English Literature and Theatre Studies and trained as an actor at Identity School of Acting in London. In 2018, she was a member of Soho Theatre's Young Company. She also co-wrote I'll Have What She's Having which went on to receive critical acclaim for its run at Assembly George Square during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Neil Chue Hong is a playwright from Edinburgh creating work that asks audiences to reconsider how they view themselves. His work has been performed in rehearsed readings and workshops at the Traverse Theatre, Citizens Theatre and Tron Theatre. Look At Her was a winner of the IdeasTap "Writing for performers: One act plays" competition in 2014. Dreams of Flying was shortlisted for the Scottish Short Play Award 2017 (Cumbernauld Theatre).

Hazel Darwin-Clements is an actor, theatre maker, mother, puppeteer and podcaster who lives in Edinburgh. She's an associate artist with Starcatchers and Frozen Charlotte and credits include Hup, The Attic, Too Many Cooks  and Round in Circles. Her CliMates podcast will be published late 2019.

Aodhan Gallagher is an emerging playwright born and raised in Glasgow. He is dedicated to creating complex, challenging LGBTQ and working-class roles for stage, screen and fiction. He was one of the ten writers selected to participate in the 2019 David Higham Associates Open Day for under-represented voices and was listed as an official finalist for the 2014 Beverly Hills Screenplay Contest in the stage play category.

Anna Suwanasuk Rattray is a Scottish-Thai playwright from Edinburgh. She is interested in writing about women, business and corruption. She recently finished her MA in Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She is Co-Founder and Writer-Producer of Distracted Rat Productions, a new writing theatre company that encourages writers to learn about the producing side of theatre. Her work has been performed at Camden People's Theatre, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Stereo and the OSO Arts Centre.

Vivien Reid trained as an actor at the Drama Centre in London. She works in theatre, TV and film. Her short film The Box, which she wrote, star and produced is currently screening in film festivals all over the world and winning awards. Her debut play, The Waiting Room, is in development.

Bea Webster is a Glasgow based actress, theatre-maker and aspiring playwright, and graduated with BA Performance in British Sign Language and English at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She wrote, acted in and directed House of Ladies for RCS's On The Verge festival. She also co-wrote and devised Everything Will Be Perfect. Bea believes in supporting Deaf people and works to promote BSL in the theatre world and raise awareness of how theatre industries can work with Deaf professionals.

The playwrights will be mentored by Lewis Hetherington, Adura Onashile and Stef Smith 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 seven plays.

New Playwrights Awards

Nelly Kelly is a queer, trans non-binary playwright, dramaturg, performer and drag artist. They have a masters with distinction in Playwriting and Dramaturgy from the University of Glasgow and were previously a mentored playwright with Playwrights' Studio, Scotland. Their work platforms and celebrates queer identities.

Hannah Lavery is a Scottish poet, playwright and performer. Her autobiographical spoken word show, The Drift, was part of the National Theatre of Scotland's 2019 season and Black History Month 2019. The Lament for Sheku Bayoh  was commissioned by the Royal Lyceum Theatre, and performed as a work in progress as part of the Edinburgh International Festival 2019.

Michael John O'Neill is a Glasgow based producer who has worked with companies including Blood of the Young, Tron Theatre, Theatre Gu Leòr, National Theatre of Scotland, SUPERFAN, Little King, The Arches and Traverse Theatre. He is the inaugural recipient of the Bruntwood Prize Original New Voice Award for his first full length play, AKEDAH.

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

Gaelic Playwriting Award

Rugadh agus thogadh Calum L. MacLeòid ann an Inbhir Nis agus tha ceanglaichean làidir aige ri Barraigh, gu h-àraid ceann a tuath an eilein. Rinn e ceum ann an Gàidhlig aig Oilthigh Ghlaschu. Bidh e a' sgrìobhadh nobhailean, bàrdachd agus sgeulachdan ghoirid. Bha e trì bliadhna a' sgrìobhadh colbhan airson a' phàipear-naidheachd The National agus tha e a-nis na fhear-naidheachd aig a' BhBC.

Calum L MacLeòid was born and raised in Inverness, with close links to the Isle of Barra. He studied Gàidhlig at the University of Glasgow. He also writes novels, poetry and short stories. For three years he was the National's Gàidhlig columnist and he now works as a BBC journalist.

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

Professional Workshop Programme

Rebecca Sharp is a writer and artist from Glasgow, currently based in Fife. Her work spans theatre, poetry and prose. As part of the Professional Workshop Programme, Rebecca received a script development workshop for her new play Lines of Bearing (working title). Based in a fictional ex-quarry town in Scotland, the play centres around a land dispute and community buyout; historical grievances and personal secrets that are tied to the land; and the emotional consequences that are unearthed.

Jules Horne is a playwright, fiction writer and musician from Hawick in the Scottish Borders. Jules has won two Edinburgh Fringe Firsts for her stage writing and is a recipient of the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship, Grez-sur-Loing (National Library of Scotland.) As part of the Professional Workshop Programme, Jules will use the Flexible Support she receives to help develop her new script The Brutiful Game, a play celebrating women's rugby in Scotland.

Mariem Omari is a writer and activist. She lived and worked across the Middle East and North Africa for five years, and during that time worked with refugees and survivors of violence. She has since committed to promoting the stories of 'voices' that are not often heard to advocate for greater human rights and equality. As part of the Professional Workshop Programme, Mariem received a self-directed writing residency. After spending almost two years thinking about, and compiling ideas, articles and personal accounts on the impact of Jinn and black magic on mental health, Mariem will use the writing residency to start writing a new play that explores this issue.

Jack Dickson is a one-time bass player with Gomorrah and the Sodomites, steward on the Arran ferry, postman and fashionista, who works and lives in the east end of Glasgow with his partner and his Jack Russell, Dixie. As part of the Professional Workshp Programme, Jack received a self-directed writing residency. He will use his residency to research a new play, The Girls of Cartridge Hut Number 7, about the Ardeer Nobel Explosives Plant in Stevenston. The play aims to commemorate everyone who worked at 'The Dets' and meditate on how we move forward, in a post-industrial world.

The Professional Workshop Programme offes a range of support which, we hope, is responsive to the needs of experienced mid-career or established professional playwrights or those who are currently under-represented. There are three routes of support available: Supported Script Development Workshops, Self-directed Writing Residencies, and Flexible Support.

Other activities during 2020

Perth and Kinross
Working in partnership with Horsecross Arts, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Birnam Arts and playwright Lesley Wilson, year one of Perthshire Plays kicks off with a new Playwriting Group in Perth and Kinross. Running alongside the Playwriting Group will be a series of public Masterclasses across the region. Full details of these will be published in early 2020.

New Zealand
Also in January, we welcome New Zealand playwright Uther Dean to Scotland as part of the international Playwright Residency Programme with Playmarket New Zealand, and Magnetic North. Supported by Creative New Zealand, the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa.

During 2020, we will continue to announce more of the playwrights who will be involved in our other activities such as our ongoing Professional and Public Participation Programmes, the National Workshop Programme and others.

Image: Ingrid Mur

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