International Playwrights Group
Since 1989 the Royal Court Theatre has collaborated with emerging playwrights from all parts of the world, working in over 70 countries and in more than 40 languages. The International Playwrights Group (formerly the International Residency) is part of this programme that offers the opportunity for international playwrights to spend time at the Royal Court Theatre in London, developing a new play. It also offers international theatre artists a forum to meet and work with leading British writers, directors, practitioners and performers.
In summer 2014, five international playwrights were invited to London to take part in a focused, residential writers group, working with members of the Royal Court Theatre artistic team in July 2014.
International playwrights will be asked to develop a new play during their time in London in collaboration with members of the Royal Court artistic team. Writers will follow an intensive programme that combines group sessions led by leading British theatre makers with individual one-to-one meetings. Each playwright will be teamed with a Royal Court script advisor and translator who will work with them to help realise their new play. There will also be an opportunity to share work with the rest of the group in a workshop environment, working with a company of professional actors.
The Royal Court Theatre will arrange complimentary tickets to all shows at the theatre for the duration of the programme, as well as productions at other venues in London.
Writing facilities can be provided throughout the programme.
The International Playwrights Group is the latest incarnation of the Royal Court Theatre’s development work with international writers in London. This started in 1989 as the Summer School before becoming the International Residency for Emerging Playwrights from 1993 with support from the British Council. This evolution has taken many forms, focusing ever more closely on international playwrights and their plays.
Many new and exciting theatre projects have evolved in different parts of the world as a result of these programmes, including seasons of new international work at the Royal Court which have often included the work of former participants. These include Marcos Barbosa (Brazil); Pedro Miguel Rozo Florez (Colombia); Marius von Mayenburg (Germany); Anupama Chandrasekhar and Abhishek Majumdar (India); Amir Reza Koohestani (Iran); Anna Wakulik (Poland); Olivier Choinière (Québec, Canada); Gianina Cărbunariu (Romania); Juan Mayorga (Spain); and Natalia Vorozhbit (Ukraine).
The Royal Court Theatre is one of Europe’s leading theatres, which since 1956 has presented a programme of new and innovative drama that has become known throughout the world. Since its foundation, it has presented premieres by almost every leading contemporary British playwright, from John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger to Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls to Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem. The Royal Court Theatre is the only British new writing theatre with a commitment to working with playwrights across the world to develop new plays.
The Royal Court Theatre may seek funding for successful candidates in order to pay for their participation. Playwrights may be asked to help in researching and applying for grants available in their home countries. Please note that acceptance on the International Playwrights Group is NOT dependent on funding.
Playwrights will be expected to write in their mother tongue and this work will be translated by the Royal Court. However, participants will need to have a good working knowledge of English as all meetings and group sessions will be conducted in English.
Travel and Accommodation
International travel, subsistence and accommodation will be provided by the Royal Court Theatre. Accommodation is self-catering, within walking distance or a short bus ride from the theatre. The Royal Court Theatre will also reimburse any UK entry visas costs.
Applications for the International Playwrights Group are currently closed. Please check back here for details of future application dates. The following details are provided for information only.
Please provide us with the following:
• A completed application form in English (download here)
• A recent example of your work (this should be an original, full length stage play in the original language and not an adaptation)
• Two letters of recommendation from people who know your theatre work.
Applications are accepted by post or email. All postal applications should be printed single sided and unbound. Please do not send ring-bound or stapled scripts. Please ensure that all scripts contain page numbers.
We will acknowledge your application within two working days of receiving it.
Please send your completed application to
Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London, SW1W 8AS, United Kingdom
For the Royal Court
Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone
International Director Elyse Dodgson
International Associate Richard Twyman
Literary Manager Christopher Campbell
Associate Directors Carrie Cracknell, Simon Godwin and John Tiffany
Artistic Associate Emily McLaughlin
Projects Manager Chris James