Jerwood New Playwrights Programme to Relaunch in 2020 with New Focus on Writer Development Opportunities for Emerging Playwrights

Published on Mon 2 Dec 2019

Jerwood Arts announced today over £1 million of funding over the course of the next two years to support 19 specialist programmes across the arts and cultural sector that will support early career artists, curators, and producers working in literature, music, performing, visual and contemporary arts through to 2021.

This includes the Jerwood New Playwrights scheme with the Royal Court Theatre, which has evolved its 25-year strong programme to offer a full commission to six emerging writers and create funding to support a pool of writers at an early stage of developing their writing practice.

Since 1994, the Jerwood New Playwrights programme at the Royal Court has supported 72 writers who have had their plays produced in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs and the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs. In 2020, they will be relaunching the Jerwood New Playwrights programme with a new focus on writer development opportunities for emerging playwrights. Writers Hester Chillingworth, Somalia Seaton and Ross Willis have been selected to receive a Jerwood New Playwrights commission. Jerwood Arts will also support a range of bespoke research and development opportunities at the Royal Court, for writers at an early stage in their career.

Lilli Geissendorfer, Director, Jerwood Arts, said;

“Jerwood Arts is particularly proud to continue its relationship with the Royal Court Theatre, where for the past 25 years a generation of new playwrights have been nurtured through to full production. Their track record in developing new writers and pushing the form remains exceptional. The Jerwood New Playwrights programme has now been reimagined by Vicky Featherstone, Jane Fallowfield and the team to meet the needs of playwrights today and focus on supporting some of the early-stage ways and means of contemporary playmaking – workshopping, time for research and experimentation – alongside commissions. We are extremely excited to see what happens next.”

Jane Fallowfield, Literary Manager, Royal Court, said;

“We are delighted to continue our partnership with Jerwood Arts over the next two years, supporting emerging writers to develop their practice, take risks and create extraordinary new work. We look forward to inviting Jerwood Arts in to the development process earlier, through a new approach that will include making three new commissions and creating opportunities for emerging playwrights.”

Jerwood Arts is the leading independent funder dedicated to supporting outstanding UK artists, curators and producers to develop and thrive. We collaborate with organisations across art forms to imagine a more sustainable sector. Our programmes provide transformative opportunities for early-career individuals through awards, fellowships and commissions, and we present exhibitions in our gallery in London and on tour nationally.

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