Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust (Masterclass) has announced the return of their successful Pitch Your Play scheme, which invites people aged 17-30 to pitch for the opportunity to stage a reading of a new play at the West End venue.
Generously supported by the Noel Coward Foundation, Masterclass’ Pitch Your Play scheme offers three successful pitches access to admin support, marketing provision, rehearsal space, office space and creative guidance to hone their ideas at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
Working closely with Masterclass, this is an exclusive opportunity to showcase new work in front of an invited audience of peers and industry professionals. It is a chance to invite potential funders, financial producers and potential theatres to see the play or to simply test a new piece of writing on stage in the heart of London’s West End.
Masterclass are asking for all applications to include: a short synopsis of the play, a hard copy of the first 30 pages and covering letter, but the script must be a new, unpublished piece of writing.
Applications are now open and the deadline to submit the first 30 pages of the script is 10am on Tuesday 13 March. For more information and how to apply, visit the Masterclass website here.
Speaking about the return of the Pitch Your Play scheme, Jez Butterworth commented: “Twenty five years ago when I gave up my first and last paying job to try to write for a living, I swiftly felt alone.
“A scheme such as Pitch Your Play would have felt like a lifeline. Witnessing work rehearsed and hearing it read aloud is oxygen for fledgling playwrights. I’m a bit jealous of those taking part, who will hear something for the first time; the strange and familiar voice, which startles, haunts, galvanises and nourishes them enough to try again.”
One of the initiative’s previous playwrights, Emma Whipday, explains how the process has helped to further her career: “Having Shakespeare’s Sister staged at the Theatre Royal Haymarket has transformed my career. The staged reading resulted in an offer to licence and publish the play and its first professional production took place at the American Shakespeare Center in Virginia, February 2017.
“These are career-changing moments I simply couldn’t have imagined before Pitch Your Play. The opportunity to have my work seen by industry professionals has opened so many doors and I’m hugely grateful.”
The Masterclass Pitch Your Play initiative is generously supported by the Noel Coward Foundation.